Summer In Antarctica

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Summer in Antarctica….. Hectic, boisterous, exciting, animated are all good words to describe it. I spent the summer at Amudesen Scott South Pole Station. I was at THE bottom of the world, 90 degrees south. The sun was up the entire time it just circled around in the sky.
To get to the Pole I ended up on a Basler, a DC-3.
The plane is un-pressurized so we had to wear oxygen while aboard
This is Eric he was a scientist!
I remember coming in on the plane and all you can see is the storage yard at first. I though ohh man what a crap hole…. What am I doing. Then after we landed and I was taken to my room I realized well they got me I am a sucker.
I had a room in a Jamesway, a half round insulated tent from the Korean War. My room was about 7ft long and 4 feet wide, 2 meters by 1.5 meters.
We showered in a seperate building it was communal showers I believe 3 showers for about 70 people. Since water takes alot of power to make, and power needs fuel to create, we were limited to 2 showers per week for 2 minutes each.
I was there again as an Electrician. There were 6 of us and 2 helpers
This was my helper we were in tasked to run some 3″ conduit for feeders to this new building they had erected underground in an air plane hanger type of facility.
This is where we were running our conduit
Here is the inside of the building
We also helped around station with any needs the science projects might have
Here we are going to work on a generator in support of the Ice Cube project
It was a bit chilly. This was before I figured out that wearing glasses in this weather wouldnt work
At the end of the summer we had to dig a trench and run some 4″ fiberglass conduit for a new satellite that was installed
Had to warm up a bit
All work and no play makes Monty a dull boy.
Here is some of the fun we had!
These guys drove in from the coast on some sort of expedition
These guys to! They were bringing supplies though
They had a sculpture carving contest I made a cow
I also made a giant martini glass but it didnt work out well when I tried to fill it
Then we had a BBQ, this was how you drank vodka poured through this chink of ice
I also introduced the wonderful game of beer pong to the South Pole!
Towards the end of the summer we were given a weeks “vacation” before winter started. They flew us back to McMurdo for the week. They sent 6 of us and by the end of the week the management of the station hated the lot of us.
We arrived about 9:00 pm I knew the bar should close at 10:00pm so we hustled to the bar. It was closed early since nobody was there. We pounded on the door and the lady opened. We promised to make it worth her while if she would serve us. She agreed. I saddled up to the bar first and ordered 6 double rum and cokes. She thought one for everyone. she gave them to me and I stepped aside for the next guy. By the time everyone had ordered I was ready for 6 more!
My old friends heard I was back in town so came out to the bar!
Our daily ritual consisted of waking up about 11:00am and going to eat lunch. Then ordering a sandwich to go. Head back to our rooms and drink beer until 5:00pm, eat dinner then go to the bar that would just open. Drink until 11:00pm eat our sandwich and drink more beer then hit up the midnight dinner and pass out.
They had this sky with glasses glued to it so everyone had to drink at once
Two Polies Tripp and Laurie
Some kind of karaoke
Another friend that I meet up with again
Tripp teaching Sparky to Shot gun
We happened to be there when the cargo ship came in
this is the ice breaker
There was one day we mixed it up a bit. They have an official “polar plunge” where they cut a hole in the sea ice and you can jump in. We missed it so decided to make our own. Only Tripp wanted to participate though
Ya it was cold!
Must drink beer!
Eric kept saying, stupid Americans….
That was the jist of my summer in Antactica. After our “vacation” they decided that we caused to much trouble in McMurdo and that future vacations they would fly people to New Zealand! Finally my drinking and carousing did some good in the world!