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October 19, 2004

Whole lot of Huggin’

It’s good to be back in McMurdo. We made it down on our first shot: Jim picked me up at the Y at 7:30 AM, we went to the CDC (Clothing Distribution Center) to get changed and organized and checked in, walked to the airport for breakfast (looking pretty fly, I’m sure, in our wind pants, which are overalls), came back and watched the briefing, boarded, had an uneventful flight, and landed out on the sea ice outside McMurdo at around 4 PM. From there, a general inbriefing and we were set free. We came to Crary, the science building where our office is, and changed out of our ECW into more comfortable attire, said hellos to our office neighbors, the IT folks, and retrieved our checked luggage from the MCC, or “Movement Control Center” (great name, eh?). From there, I went to my room. And arrived at the same time as my two lovely roommates.

I didn’t mention the weather. WARM. People who were out in it all day yesterday said it was cold, but compared to the day I arrived last year, it is quite warm. No hat weather. It’s nice.

The evening brought quite a treat. There was dinner, with lots of people to reunite with, and there was after dinner. The usual shenanigans. I happened to arrive on the day in which Matt O. and blue-eyed/powerplant Dave (friends from my first season down) were going to settle a bet. Does hot water freeze faster than cold water? Dave said cold, Matt said hot. The short version is, they were both right and both wrong, and thus both are going to jump rope 20 jumps in skirts in the galley at 12:15 (the height of lunch time) on Thursday saying, “Sarah is queen. We suck at science.” In the original version, the loser was supposed to jump rope in a skirt for 20 consecutive jumps, starting over if he messed up, while stating that the other was champ, during lunch in a prominent spot in the galley. But since the actual details of the bet were poorly defined (what temperature constitutes “hot,” and what “cold”? What is freezing—is it 0 degrees C, is it when ice crystals start to form, is it when the top is frozen over, is it when all the water has frozen solid?), we essentially declared both men losers (and yes, as the 5th judge, I was a key part of this process) and sentenced them to praise Sarah, another moderator. It all works out in the end. So long as they keep up their part of the deal on Thursday. I made them shake on it. Well, we did a sort of Wonder-Twin powers activate / go team shake where those still present (the whole ordeal took quite some time, and we’d lost spectators by the end of it) put hands it and agreed.

For those who are curious: The cold water reached zero and started to form ice crystals first, but the hot water froze all the way through first. I can’t give the reasoning behind it, because I was just there for the shenanigans; you can do a search and read about it on the web.

So, yes, welcome back to McMurdo. Here I am at 6:44 on a Tuesday morning, showered and at work. Partly because I’m still adjusting to the time, and partly because I slept on the couch in our room—I didn’t have a chance to make up my bed, and it’s a top bunk which is a mere foot-and-a-half or so from the ceiling. Not so inviting. Word is, my downstairs bunkmate, who I have yet to meet, is heading out to a field camp for the season in a week or so.

Today, Jim and I have our “push course”—our refresher class for safety and survival, in leu of having to do snow school again.

Posted by beth at October 19, 2004 1:24 AM


It must be great to be back. I enjoyed your adventured down there last year and the fantastic pictures. Enjoy yourself and be safe, I'll be staying tuned.

Posted by: Reed at October 20, 2004 3:31 AM

what?!! no stories of your flight down? no visits to the flight deck? no pictures? ... great that you made it down on the planned date and time! happy visiting with old friends and making new ones. and may you have lots of wonderful stories and adventures to share with us!

Posted by: wilma - mother of beth at October 20, 2004 3:46 AM

Hello, Beth! A question -- you mention the "IT folks". What flavor of IT folks are stationed there, and what kind of qualifications would someone have to have to be able to be one of them there IT folks? :)

Posted by: Barbara at October 20, 2004 4:05 AM