Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Flight of the Bumble Tech

Well, 'tis the season to be beyond busy. I'm really doing fine thus far, but once all the people I have to support start to arrive, I think things will escalate exponentially. Already this morning I've been into a vault ~20 feet down in the ice to swap out a computer for a project. Some folks are just finishing breakfast now. Anyhow, every morning I have to hit the ground running and keep it up all day while juggling my schedule between all my projects, fire brigade responsibilities, and miscellaneous station activities. The end is nigh, though. One of my good friends is already finishing his contract and redeploying today. In just a couple weeks there will be the initial waves of the general exodus before we close for winter. I gather the target closing date is probably 15 Feb.

IceCube is working on (or maybe finished last night) their last hole for the season, so that major contingent isn't long for Pole. A big deal here has been how the crew will extract two tractors that got stuck in the sector over the buried original Pole station. It's going to take a lot of doing to get that taken care of, but it has to be done-and quickly/safely. The flight schedule from McMurdo has increased dramatically, though we've still had trouble getting all our flights. Last I'd heard we needed something like 100 flights to get this place fueled and ready for the long dark of winter. A couple mornings back there was pretty heavy overcast and a fairly strong breeze. With the lessened light and general pallor of the terrain, it felt like the end of summer was near at hand (which it is). Today we've got clear skies, but yesterday at lunch I watched a fog bank come in from the horizon to swathing the station in visibility-reducing shroud within about 30 minutes.

All in all, things are going reasonably well. That doesn't mean things are perfect, but we're getting a lot of work done and the weeks keep ticking by rapidly. It's definitely good to be productive and employed (and paid) again.

“Many who seem to be struggling with adversity are happy; many, amid great affluence, are utterly miserable.”
~Tacitus