Checking in...

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!

Wauwermans Islands

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 here with, but couldn't turn down an extra two weeks in Antarctica. That, and not wanting to burn any bridges in case life leads me down here again.

Hadar cruising past an iceberg in the Wauwermans

The pictures here are from a trip to the Wauwermans Islands, a beautiful area at the southern end of the Neumayer Channel. Like the Joubin Islands, they are well outside of the safe boating limits for the station, so you have to take the Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats (RHIB), not Zodiacs, as well as wear full float suits when going to them. People rarely make it to these outer island groups, so I was very fortunate to get to both my first time down here.

Our RHIB's are named Hadar and Rigil, which are bright pointer stars to the Southern Cross. While we haven't been lucky enough to see the Aurora Australis this winter, seeing the Southern Cross and all the other stars and planets that are easily visible here has been a real treat.

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