Friday, June 22, 2007

The official greeting

Here it is, our official Mid-Winter Greeting from the 2007 Winterover crew:
Photos and design by Robert Schwarz

This year, winter solstice for us actually occurred around 6 am today, June 22. That's the time when the sun was at its farthest point away from us in the southern hemisphere about 23.5 degrees below our horizon. Tonight will be our big celebratory feast prepared by the three finest chefs on the continent, and I'd also add anywhere in the world.

The greetings from the other stations are pouring in now. Some are simple letters congratulating everyone else for enduring the same thing they're going through, others are nice photos of the stations and their crews complete with elaborate menus and invitations to join their celebration. We also got the customary letter from the US president. It was exceptionally dull, uninspiring and included a typo.

Here are some examples of cards from around the continent:
McMurdo almost looks like a Norman Rockwell painting, in a quaint industrial way.

From Palmer, the American station on the peninsula where three of our fellow Polie winterovers from last year are stationed.

Bird Island is near South Georgia Island, where the British Antarctic Survey has a crew of four.

This is from the South African station on Gough Island, where the birds look like they were extras in Disney animated features.

The German station Neumayer is on an ice shelf in Queen Maud Land.

Another British station from South Georgia Island with the crew in a cool looking ice cave.

King George Island in the peninsula is home to a few stations including Artigas from Uruguay. They sent their greeting in Spanish and English.

We received many more but this gives you an idea of the spirit of Mid-Winter Day. The Galley is all decked out in white linen table cloths, wine bottles holding candles and flowers from the greenhouse. In a few hours we will sit down to a magnificent dinner, a couple of cases of wine and some good camaraderie as we celebrate reaching the halfway point in our polar winter. I'll post photos of the celebration soon. Happy Winter Solstice to my friends down south and Happy Summer Solstice to everyone up north enjoying the sun and warmth. The rays are now headed our way.


At 12:17 AM, Anonymous Tara said...

Let me be the first to wish you a very Happy Midwinter! Just think, only another 3 months of darkness...

Party hard and have some good old Aussie red for me seeing as I am sitting here at home shivering with the flu. No wonder coz the thermometer in my bathroom registered a balmy 6 degrees C this morning!

PS Love to Brien, Michael and Neale, and tell Derek his surname means "little apple" in Latvian.

At 5:23 AM, Anonymous Dave said...

Wow, that McMurdo one is gorgeous!


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