The past weekend was a lot of fun down here. It started out great on Friday night when we finally won our first game in the inter-station darts tournament. We started the season kinda slow, but practice helps, and the south pole team won two out of five games. It was great to hear the cheers coming from the radio towards us instead of us having to cheer for the other guys.
The next day we had the BBQ party that I mentioned in my last update. It couldn’t have gone better. The entire day was a blast, starting at 9 am with margaritas, tequila sunrises and breakfast burritos provided by a couple of the guys. When you’ve got a margarita in one hand, and your first cup of coffee of the morning in the other, you know it’s going to be an interesting day!
So the morning was spent just hanging out and chatting with people…when 2pm arrived, it was time to start cooking the meat! Now, I don’t know how many of you have tried to light a BBQ grill when the wood and charcoal are sitting at a temperature of about -45, but it isn’t easy. We ended up using an acetylene torch to finally get the thing started. Once it was done though, it was roaring. We had beef steaks, lamb chops, chicken breasts, and bratwursts all cooked to perfection. After the feast, the band played their first gig of the season, and then most people headed down to the bar to finish off the evening.
Speaking of the bar, this may very well be the last year that it is in use. The new station has a designated “bar” area attached to the galley, but quite frankly, it sucks. It’s not an enclosed space, just an alcove with a few stools and some shelving for drinks. The whole idea of the bar is a place where you can go to get away from the station as a whole, and have a totally different atmosphere. There is talk of modifying some space elsewhere, but that won’t be decided for quite a while.
Sunday was dedicated to sleeping late and relaxing. I ended up in the galley sometime in the afternoon working with one of the Met guys cooking dinner for the station. We made almost a hundred calzones in three different flavors. Fantastic!
Other than that,the biggest news is that we’ve seen the first stars! It’s been reported that the southern cross is visible, but every time I’ve gone out to look I can only see three of the four stars. The clouds have been off and on, so it’s tough to get a clear view. Right now the moon is full, so that provides a lot of extra light. I’m looking forward to two weeks from now when the moon is gone and we’ve got a clear dark sky for viewing.
Talk to you guys later!