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Winter has arrived...

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The last couple of days have brought cold temperatures, high winds, and lots of snow. There is no open ocean as far as the eye can see, and lots of high snow drifts everywhere. It is really starting to feel like winter down here.


The pictures above and below were taken by our comms tech, Mike Rice, from the same vantage point on the glacier above Hero Inlet. The first is from just after we arrived in April, the second from the last week in July. The change is pretty amazing, but there's even more snow now. The bit of open ocean you can see between the station and Torgersen Island in the July picture is no longer there. As I write this it's not really that cold, only -3F, but with a strong wind the wind chill is -34F. Nothing like the heat they've been having back in Boulder.


Steve, the doc here, found the photo below on one of the servers and sent it to me because he thought it looked exactly like the station does now. We don't know who the photographer is, or when it …

Checking in...

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I just thought I'd check in since I hadn't done a blog post in quite a while. Nothing really new and interesting has happened lately here. There was a big "Christmas in July" party on the 25th, but I had to work that night and missed it. After seeing the shape everybody was in the next morning, I have to say I'm glad that I did!


The main group of winterover people have about ten weeks left here, and are starting to talk about going home. A lot of people are starting to get that ten thousand mile stare around the dinner table lately, myself included. Because of this, we've stepped up the amount and complexity of our glacier/ocean search and rescue and fire drills to keep people sharp and focused. The reason I say the main group of people are leaving is because they've asked me to stay an extra two weeks to help with the winter-summer turnover, and I've agreed to it. I'm going to miss going home on the ship with the folks I spent the winter her…

Weekends...

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I've talked about what work days are like, but I thought I'd explain how weekends work down here too. Most of the time we work 6 days a week, and have Sunday off. Every once in a while, about once a month or so, we'll have a 2 day weekend.

On Saturday we'll work our normal jobs for half of the day. After lunch, we clean up our offices and work spaces and then head to the galley around 2pm for the weekly station meeting. At the station meeting there is a recap of the week, a look at what's up for the next week, news from around Antarctica, and "gentle reminders." Gentle reminders are where anybody can bring up anything that they think might need to get done or changed, things that are bugging them, etc. It's a good way to keep resentments from popping up in our small and isolated community.

At the end of the station meeting, we all draw a slip of paper out of a bucket with our job for "house mouse", which is the weekly deep cleaning of the st…

Visited by icebergs...

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Just a quick one picture post, a panorama from my iPhone which was handy in my office this morning. I really should keep my camera there during the week...

When we went to bed last night, the water around station was pretty free of ice. When we woke up, both Hero Inlet and Arthur Harbor were packed in with pancake ice and some mini icebergs. Pretty special, although it doesn't look like we'll get to go rec boating this weekend...


Mid-Winter greetings from all over Antarctica...

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...the Sub-Antarctic, and even a mid-summer greeting from our friends at Summit Station in Greenland. Hannah, who I've mentioned in previous posts, left on the last ship to go work summer season at Summit.

In a previous post I explained the tradition of sending mid-winter greetings to all the stations on the continent that have people during the winter, and showed you the one we sent out. Here are all the greetings that we've received. They were all accompanied by wonderful emails wishing us all the best.

One thing this really impressed upon me was how we're all just Antarcticans while we're here. What country we come from really doesn't matter, and we're all looking out for each other, doing good science. We've helped with medical evacuations while I've been here that have included Ukrainian, US, UK, and Chilean bases, US ships, and Chilean/Argentinian planes. No questions asked, just help out to get it done.

As I watch what seems like the US and the r…