Well, I’m back from sunny McMurdo, and back to freezing my tail off down here. McMurdo was awesome. The weather was in the high 30s to the mid 40s. That’s above zero! The polies were wandering around wearing jeans and t-shirts while the McMurdo natives were still bundled up in their parkas. Those guys don’t realize how good they’ve got it.
The flight down there was awesome. We only had about 6 passengers, so we were all able to go up to the cockpit and check out the scenery from up there. The view of the mountains was breathtaking. Once we got to McM, I noticed that they had ESPN playing on their public TV. I couldn’t believe it! It was the last minute and a half of the Texas Tech vs. UT basketball game! I hadn’t seen any live TV for over four months, and the first thing that I see is a home game from my old school It was awesome; the game went into double overtime before we lost. Too bad, but at least I got to see my team play.
We didn’t get to go out on the icebreaker like I’d hoped, but we still had a lot of fun. The highlight of the week was Happy Camper School. That’s where we attended a few hours of classroom work, and then went out into the field to build snow shelters and spend the night. I ended up sleeping in an igloo that was hand built, and found it surprisingly warm. Food for the evening was dehydrated backpacking stuff which was good if you had hot water, but pretty lousy with the tepid stuff that we had. Later on that night we ended up hiking to the local ski hill with some sleds, and hitching rides up the hill with some of the New Zealander’s on their snowmobiles. Going down that hill on a cargo sled was one of the most terrifying and exhilarating moments I’ve had down here!
The rest of the week was spent hanging out in the bars, shooting pool, bowling, watching TV, and just having a good time. We were really sorry to leave, but its still good to be back home.
Speaking of home, there’s just 21 days left till the station is ours! Its already starting to get noticeably colder; we expect the temperature to drop an average of 1 degree a day for the next month or so. I’m starting to dress a little warmer, and I’m looking forward to moving to a warmer office once the summer people leave. I actually work in the server room, so its noisy, and cold. Its ventilated by a fan that goes straight to the outside which means that the ambient temperature in the room can hover around 60 degrees or so. Not bad for a couple of hours, but after 8 or so it starts to wear on you. Jackets are a must!
By the way, the picture at the top of this post is from a photo-shoot we did to send to Jimmy Buffet’s bar in Florida. I haven’t made it down there yet, but I’d love to see it it actually made it or not.