Sunday, October 23, 2005

90 Degrees South and it is Cold!

Well I made it to Pole on Friday. Two of the three planes landed, the third missed out because it dropped to -51.2F and the safety cut off is <=-50.5F. The poor bastards in the third plane circled for awhile and then decided to fly back to McMurdo. It has been cold (-65F) and windy (wind chill about -100F). So no other flights have been attempted. It is nice to get settled in with the limited population.

I got a little frostbite on my nose walking from the plane to the station. That hurts, but it is a lot better today. Now I fell as if I am getting the CRUD (McMurdo Flu). I talked to Delilah this morning and she says I sound horrible. I have now seen several people who know me tell me I look like crap. I was excused from outdoor trauma walkthrough today. So I have decided to live in semi-seclusion until I feel better.

Some other interesting happenings:

McMurdo was socially good, work wise... it was difficult. Luckily Chuck Watkins was there and smoothed some things out for the Polies and IT that otherwise would have been dropped until we got here.

Went to the Kiwi station - Scott Base. Had a beer, but it tasted all metallic thanks to the Diomoxx (acetazolamide 250mg x2/day).

The Polie band played at Gallagher's and it was a blast. The McMurdo band was lame. I was talking to my friend C.C. and told her that polies party and they dance, because there is not too much else to do. After the show retreated to the McM Coffee House and had a surprising good port.

My flight from McM was delayed for what seemed forever to take off. Originally scheduled at 9a, then pushed back to 11:15a, then pushed up to 11a and then pushed back to 11:30a. Being on the first flight (btw I was informed it was a reward for doing good work in McM, yeah right), we rolled out to the ice runway at about 11:50a. We pull up with our group of 36 people, including the station manager, the NSF rep for the entire program and several supervisors. So I’m thinking there is no way this will be held up for a significant period. HA! We are told they have not even started to fuel the planes and we have at least an hour, but they will not take us back to the station (we get checked in and weighed, they are afraid we are going to add something to our carry ons). They board us again on shuttles, we head out to the runway, we get there, get the green flag to approach and stop. The Air Guard gets on and goes over safety with us. We hop out and a guy comes running out saying they blew out some electrical system, go back to the staging area. 30 minutes to get the part, 30 minutes to install. We held up all the other flights, there was a log jam of shuttles, we boarded at 2:30p. Ughhhh…

I must be important; I have a phone that calls in and out in my berthing. If anyone wants to call, email me and I’ll give you the number (it is a Denver area code – the beauty of VoIP). My parents have it as well.

My berthing is small but functional. I’ll post pictures when I get free time (yeah right).

Much more to come…

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Long Time - Long Trip

Ok, ok... I have been totally lame about updating this blog so I will a recount of what is going with and my travel. If it helps you can listen to the "Montage" song from Team America to help you through this long list, compressed into a short period. I have taken a job as System Administrator at the South Pole. I have trained to be a first responder with the South Pole Trauma Team. I have successfully traveled from Denver to New Zealand (I am writing this from there). The last two days have been of trying on clothes and training. The big news is that this new job is ONE YEAR COMMITMENT. So I will be living at the pole until November 2006. Some interesting things happen when you pack for a year. I'm allowed 75lbs. Have you thought about what you'd take in 75lbs for one year? I solved the problem by waiting until the last minute and throwing something in a bag. It's not like its a fashion show down there.

Tomorrow I am scheduled to depart for McMurdo. Weather looks good so I don't see a problem. So wish me luck and good living quarters. I'll post when I have time.