Hello everyone, first things first, I finally uploaded pictures!!! Some of them are as recent as this past Sunday!!! I also completely rearranged my photos page. The gallery on there was getting huge and unwieldy and apparently took a long time to load even back up north where there’s good internet (I thought it was just me down here). So, I got rid of that one huge gallery and made links to pages with smaller galleries. Hopefully going forward I’ll be able to keep more on top of getting photos posted!
Been another decent week down her at the bottom of the world. Last week the Scott tent was put up, it’s a tent in the style used by Robert F. Scott, one of the Antarctic explorers who was among the first to make it to the South Pole (Roald Amundsen and his expedition made it a few days before Scott and these are the two men from whom the station gets its name). A couple groups so far have taken and braved the cold to spend some time in the tent and experience what it is like, including myself in the second group. We went out Thursday night and hung out, talking and playing some card games. It was definitely a lot of fun (it helped that we had six people to help warm the inside of the tent) even though we didn’t spend the whole night out there, and I did fall asleep for a little bit so I’m counting that as camping.
Friday had our usual ERT training for the fire brigade, this time was “a fire alarm in the gym”. It was a nice change from our usual training drills that always took place in the empty berthing wing. One of our team members was very glad, he’s been unfortunate enough to have been “killed” during our drills (one part of the drill to train for RIT or Rapid Intervention Teams which is when a team has to go in and save firefighters from) and this time he was able to “stay alive” for the whole drill. I was also very glad because I’ve had to haul his butt out before and, let me tell ya, Thomas is no bag of feathers, especially when he’s got all his fire fighting gear on.
Saturday brought the beginning of the weekend along with a first for the winter season. We set up karaoke in the galley and Brandon (one of the grantees) was going to DJ a dance party after everyone finished singing. The only problem was that everyone really, really enjoyed karaoke so we never even got to the dance party. All around, it was definitely a big success. A lot of people participated, including some who it really surprised me. Being that it was karaoke, I did have to make my friend Sadie back home proud and sing A Whole New World from Aladdin (me singing Jasmine’s part of course). Eventually everyone was tired and we took down the karaoke setup and went to bed, but I think we are all looking very forward to the next time we bring it all back out.
Midwinter is coming up quick, last night we had our first meeting of the Midwinter Planning Committee. For those of you who don’t know, Midwinter is the major holiday that we celebrate during the winter here in Antarctica. All the stations around the whole continent participate, stations send greeting cards (think Christmas cards you might send with a picture of your family) with pictures of their winter-over crews, it’s the fanciest meal we have all season, fancy invitations are made for everyone on station officially inviting them to the event, and it’s supposed to be a really good time (even more fun than Sunset and that was a blast). I’ve decided to help get ready for the festivities and I think it’s going to be a lot of fun but I won’t be talking too much about it because it’s going to be a surprise for the rest of the crew who isn’t on the committee.
Well that’s about it for the last week, for today I’ve got Tech Rescue training this afternoon. It’s also nice and warm out today, only -50.8 F! It’s warm enough that the wind is up to 19 knots and it’s still only -90 F. As always, I appreciate you taking time out of your day to read my posts and I hope you enjoy them. I also hope you enjoy the new pictures that I’ve posted (I have some amazing ones of the auroras).
–Matt “now where did I put my shorts and flip-flops” Butcher