*An off base outing to a plane that crashed in the 70's
We do get sports down here, and I just walked away from the TV in disgust, watching UCLA loose their bowl game to FSU. To some of you, you understand what I am talking about, and the others not. But little touches like watching our favorite sports teams down here help keep our sanity. That is of course if we can get past the incredibly propaganda-strewn commercials of the AFN (Armed forces network).
On an earlier post, I said that Antarctica comes from the Latin meaning No bears. Well, it may or may not come from a words meaning no bears, but not Latin. It may be Greek, but I don't have the interest to spend the time researching, because well, either way, THERE ARE NO BEARS here.
I have been keeping busy, trying to get off Base as much as possible. I have not been working on this Blog. Well, I have been writing, but I am hesitant to just transfer those words over to this Blog, a public forum. Big Brother likes to watch us down here, and I wouldn't want to say anything against the party line, as it has not boded well for others.
We had a big party for Christmas, and we also got two days off for it. It is really nice to have two days off in a row here, as six is a lot to work in a week. The party was lots of fun and the food was great. Each department made a decoration, and many said that ours (housing) was the best. Of course I had very little to do with it, but it was really good. It was a giant Candyland style board with many local landmarks represented. It even had actual game cards, so people could really play it.
I spent Christmas Eve doing a little volunteer shuttle driving over to the Kiwi base, and camping. Yes, thats right camping, in the snow. Many who know me probably think that's odd, as I am not known for liking cold weather. But hey, when in Antarctica do as the.........hmmm,.......there aren't really any Antarcticans to do as. Oh well. So there is a new outing club, and they had a trip scheduled to train some leaders (I got here to late for that) but they allowed 10 others to tag along. I decided I will have few other opportunities to camp in Antarctica on Christmas Eve, so I went. I did not see Santa that night, but I did finally see a penguin very close (of course my camera said "lens error" at the time) and a seal. Most of the 24 of us slept in dug out snow shelters, but they made me feel a bit claustrophobic, so I slept in tent, and opened my Christmas presents in it in the morning. I didn't sleep well, but not due to the cold. The sleeping bag I had was fine. It was more to do with the light, it never goes away out there. Well not for a few months yet, anyway.
I also got off base to be art. As well as science, the NSF (National Science Foundation) supports several art projects per season. One of them this year is by an artist named Lita Albuquerque. She set 99 Blue Balls of varying sizes out on the ice, to be filmed from above. They are set in the pattern of the southern night sky, the 99 brightest stars. About 75 of us walked around it in a spiral while a helicopter circled, and filmed. I am art, or part of art anyway.
Need some dinner, so am going to wrap it up, but will try to write more soon about Icestock (the New Years Eve concert celebration) and the arrival of the Swedish Icebreaker that should be here next week. The women are abuzz as a boat load of Swedish Sailors are about to show up. As if they need the odds to be tipped more in their favor.