Wednesday, October 1, 2008

South Pole: Endgame

Well, yesterday we had the first attempted flight into McMurdo Station to open the summer 2008-09 season in Antarctica. Unfortunately the flight "boomeranged", turning back to Christchurch, New Zealand without landing at MacTown. I worked some of the flight following here, which likely sounds a whole lot more exciting than it is in actuality.

Work continues apace here at Pole, and some of the station opening activities have begun already. I'm thick into document update mode, and hope to get that all polished off in relatively short order. I finally managed to get those photometers off the roof after a few days gradual thawing, in addition to a little elbow grease facilitated by a pry bar.

I'm still trying to make some plans for travel once I leave, but am increasingly leery of the economic situation. I guess if things really tank then this trip could be a last hurrah for a while. It'd be a shame to lose the opportunity to see some "far off" lands whilst on this side of the planet. Besides, I've only spent like $15 down here since the station closed for winter. I need to re-acclimate to being a good little mindless consumer if I'm going to rejoin The World for a while.

“A man knows nothing if he knows not
That wealth oft begets an ape.”

~Old Norse quote
(I originally found this a few years ago in "The Long Ships" by Frans Bengtsson)


Becky said...

Isn't it kind of late in the year to be opening MacTown? Did they cancel Winfly altogether? If the economy is truly tanking then you should be saving all you can-the mindless consumer may be a thing of the past.
When do they expect you guys to head out?

EthanG said...

They did have a McMurdo "springfly", but I don't remember exactly when those dates were. I'm scheduled to redeploy on 11/8 right now, but we'll see how that all pans out. Baslers are supposed to start our soft opening here at Pole in about 3 weeks, I believe.

Becky said...

Seems so early-I forget you won't be staying for another Summer. Enjoy the freshies when they arrive!