So, I seem to have neglected some of the technical things that we live with on a daily basis here at South Pole. Some of the high points:
– We get 2 two minutes showers every 7 days, and 1 load of laundry. The reasons for this are simple, we only have fresh water that we melt from the ice (called the rod well, which currently is providing us with 2,000 year old water!), and then have to add minerals to make it useable by us Old Antarctic Explorers! OAE is a term for anyone who winters over, so all the ‘part time’ summer people don’t get to join this club!
– If we don’t get flights, and we haven’t gotten one for a week now (gotta love the USAF Air National Guard from NY), 100% of our food is frozen. Our galley crew does an AMAZING job with the variety and quality here! When we do get flights, they usually have freshies (fresh fruits and veg, rarely other things like dairy). In winter, as we are ‘closed’ due to the extreme cold, no freshies EVER.
-As the station is elevated and built on a 2 mile thick dome of ice, all buildings settle at their own rates due to weight differential. So this basically means issues, that as the plumber, keep me fairly busy. But, I’m not the only one. The Power Plant arch is ‘sinking’ faster then the Vertical Tower ( referred to as the beer can, but not if NSF is asking!), and thus, our stellar electrician’s Dave and Peter, are having to reroute all the feeders to the main station.
– On a weather note, on Sunday, we actually got to +.4F!!! This, sadly, did not last long! This temp was reached WITHOUT wind chill being factored in. Many have said it will get warmer before mid January. We shall see!
We have now gotten 2 of the 3 Traverse groups in. These ‘trains’ go over land from McMurdo to Pole with all of our fuel for the remainder of Summer threw the Winter. I’m trying to get the video they made, and will post it soon. It takes the group nearly 17 days to make the trek, and we are happy they are here and should join us for Christmas! The first group was delayed, and missed Thanksgiving, but should be base to Mac Town in time to celebrate!
If you have any questions or requests, feel free to comment with them!!