Monday, January 16, 2012

Scott’s Arrival Centennial

Today, Jan. 17, is the centennial of Scott’s expedition arriving at the South Pole. Of course, it was to the sickening sight of the Norwegian flag deposited by Amundsen’s group over one month earlier.

This evening there will be a ceremony commemorating the event, and earlier in the afternoon there is to be a “science mixer”, where we can go talk to visitors about the research we do/support down here.

Last night a gentleman, Lt Col Henry Worsley of the Royal British Legion, who skied here along the route Amundsen followed, gave an interesting talk comparing the two expeditions and the two routes. Since he also did the route Scott (and earlier Shackleton) followed in 2008, it was very interesting to hear his thoughts on the contrasts of the paths taken. It really made me want to actually get to go see some other place-of which there are so many-on this remarkable continent. But, that is most definitely NOT in the cards for the remainder of this year.

Speaking of leaving, winter crew members have started taking their R&R trips to New Zealand. As this is the time of year my science groups start to arrive for their yearly visits (one got here yesterday and two groups arrive today), it would be pretty disadvantageous for everybody if I were to leave the station. There is also the whole deal how I do not get any days off here, unlike most people, but would still not get paid whilst on leave, which I really find to be inappropriate. Regardless, some folks probably can use the break more than others, and it is probably a good thing to let folks that have never done a winter, let alone a full year, have a chance to freshen themselves up before the long haul of winter begins.

Despite the fact there will be over 70 visitors here for the anniversary, I like how this one is a lot more low-key than the Amundsen one. All the business of the fancy parties, live TV broadcasts, and large contingents of people in the station seemed to distract from actually considering the event that was being commemorated. Sometimes less is considerably more.

“Every day some new fact comes to light - some new obstacle which threatens the gravest obstruction. I suppose this is the reason which makes the game so well worth playing.”
~Robert Falcon Scott

1 comment:

Teacher said...

Isn't it nice to be important?