FW: Pole Tales #13 (Antarctic diary)
This update comes in from Barb Allen's equipment operator friend in Antarctica. Check out the picture of the tent
on a sled being towed by a kite!
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January 8, 2012Pole Tales #13Weather: -12FWind speed: 4ktsAve temp: -15FPopulation: 230Flights: 87SPT 1: leaving Sunday at 1pm (after brunch)SPT 2: 800 miles from McMurdoAttachments: two of Spanish tent kite, last is the SP telescope target with pole Cat & me pulling it!!!Hi all,Our population maxed out last week, traverse left, one more to leave tomorrow & people coming and going all the time—mostly beakers & DV’s. The DV’s last week were from the House appropriations committee—the people who decide how much money the NSF needs!!! Most DV’s come on a morning plane then leave on a 6pm plane. Amazing how some days we get no flights at all, but if DV’s are involved they fly on schedule! I know there have been plenty of weather issues all over the continent which really cause the plane schedulers headaches as we are backups to backup flights!!!Even with the sketchy flights we had mail three times this week—the Xmas mail is still pouring in and yes Regalas the Steelers towel is here & photos will be sent for inspection when the satellite comes up! I received Xmas cards from some of you which I appreciate! Two weeks is average for mail to arrive, but the air guard sends crews home at Xmas & flights become few and far between during the holidays. We had an airdrop (practice for guard) scheduled for last Friday morning, which has been postponed due to weather until Monday now. They drop food. They fly from Cheech to McM to refuel & then head to Pole, do the airdrop & fly directly back to cheech.Last Sunday we had Spaniards come in from Nova on the coast north of us on a sled with a tent on it powered by a kite! They had come 300 kilometers in 10 hours that day and had 12 kites of different sizes to use. They are looking for an alternative to bring people to Pole without using fuel. They stayed at the campground four days & I was up dragging the campground as they were getting ready to leave, and got my picture taken with them.Friday night I got to move the calibration target that will be used to recalibrate the South Pole Telescope when the shield is finished. I had spent the week building the 3k road to the site, so it was great fun to move the target to it’s spot at the end of the road. The hole in the center will have a mirror where the telescope will be pointed to recalibrate it.John Fonseca left on the Saturday morning plane so we had a small party for him. BBQed North Dakota buffalo steaks which were very good. The night shift cook gave us a case of the leftover steaks from the Norwegian dinner. Craig, the mechanic has made a small barrel bbqer that uses charcoal & works really well. Douggie the night mechanic is leaving January 16 to go to a job in Greenland starting Feb 5. Dave Watson is scheduled out January 15 & I’m on Feb 3rd. We have redeployment meetings on Tuesday to do paperwork for plane flights. More info to come.We had plenty of drama over New Year’s. A couple of people fired –any fighting is a quick ticket out of here.I was asked to be lead on nights to replace Fonseca and I declined. I’ve really enjoyed not being a boss & no need to start again now!!!This week we have Brit tourists showing up for the Centennial of Scott’s arrival at Pole, however, haven’t heard any plans for it. Tourists coming for that are approx 43 people—flying, skiing, ???Yes, Felicity Ashton was at the tourist ground just before Xmas.With that,Love from the bottomberry,jjjjjjjjjjjjj