Monday, December 12, 2011

Gettin' this Pole party started

Yesterday the Prime Minister of Norway, Jens Stoltenberg, arrived at the South Pole. At supper, he gave a nice, brief speech thanking the station crew for all they do, and explained in short why the Amundsen Expedition (as well as some of the others, like those done by Fridtjof Nansen) was so important to their young country. After the talk at dinner, most folks on station trooped out for a group photo at the geographical pole marker.

Earlier in the day the Norwegian contingent had been out to do some filming/photographing. It was a first for me that I had to detour on my way back from ARO due to something like that, but there is always a first time for everything.

I will also point out in that photo the bit of pipe in the snow with a green flag next to it, just to the right of the group of people. That is the actual location of the Pole, as of December 14, the centennial of Amundsen's crew's arrival in 1911. So, though it is a couple weeks shy of the usual full one year from January 1 to January 1, that is essentially how far the ice cap moves in a year (~10 meters).

The weather has been really pleasant, warm, and calm here lately. I've taken to just wearing my fleece sweater on the walk to ARO, since I've been overly warm with the full jacket on (let alone wearing the Big Red parka, which I avoid like the plague). With luck the weather will cooperate here for the events the next couple days, and hopefully weather at McMurdo and Pole will remain within flyable conditions, so we can get people and cargo moved in/out on schedule.

"I don’t think there is any such thing as an ordinary mortal. Everybody has his own possibility of rapture in the experience of life. All he has to do is recognize it and then cultivate it and get going with it. I always feel uncomfortable when people speak about ordinary mortals because I’ve never met an ordinary man, woman, or child."
~Joseph Campbell

No comments: