Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Radio Darts

A long standing winter tradition has been playing Radio Darts. South Pole, McMurdo and Scott Base (the Kiwi station near McMurdo) gather weekly to "play" each other in a game of 301 darts.

Jim, Sven and Brien waiting their turn at the dartboard.

This is the Station Operations Center, or SOC, which replaced old Comms down in the Dome. We use the HF radio to call over our darts scores after each round. Players from McMurdo go over to Scott Base to play since they have a nice pub there but this winter, they are renovating it so they moved the dart board to the heavy shop. No worries, they still drink just as much beer while playing and sometimes it's quite evident from the scores how much they've had.
Here's Jim at the dart board just outside the SOC in the hallway. We had to make a temporary backboard for it since we didn't want to make too many holes in the walls of the new station. There's a comforter spread out at the base of it so those wayward darts don't break when they hit the floor, something I seem to excel in more than hitting the board.
So the board is not as close to the radio as we'd like but we make do and we even have binocs for the spectators to scrutinize those close calls.

Dan has been one of our ringers this winter and he is often the go-to guy to double in or double out for our team. His accuracy is demonstrated with this tight grouping of a triple 20 and two single 20s for the high score of the evening of 100 for our side.

Sometimes the radio waves are finicky and we don't have such great transmissions back and forth. We have had to resort to "Email Darts" in the past by just playing our games and emailing the scores afterwards. It's not nearly as fun but it does go a little faster, especially when the game drags on as we're trying to hit the dreaded double one.

This past Friday we played the last Radio Darts match of the winter. Winfly will start next week at McMurdo and they will be busy with an influx of people that will quadruple their population so they won't have time to play anymore. Just as well...Scott Base ended up sweeping the match winning all three games, a rarity since we usually win at least one game. At least we didn't get "pantsed", which if you lose the game before even doubling in, the losing team has to drop trousers for the other teams. In this day of digital photos, they can easily have proof of your punishment. Believe me, if we had been pantsed this past match, I would have blogged about something else.


At 6:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Heidi, My name is Judy Spanberger and I wintered in 2002 (I'm the one holding the Kermit doll in the end of winter photo). You're a wonderful writer and I've really enjoyed the blog. Pole was, and still is, such a special place for me and reading your blog livens those memories. Plus it's fun to see what people are up to down there these days. Soon you'll see light on the horizon! Take care, Judy

At 10:47 AM, Blogger Heidi said...

Glad you're enjoying the blog, Judy. My goal is to try to give people a sense of what this place is like now, for those who have never been here and those who have done their time here in the past. You'd be amazed at the changes since 2002 but you know some things will never change. Like toast!

At 10:30 AM, Blogger Neal said...

Embarrassed to get 'pantsed'? What, no clean underwear?

At 12:05 PM, Anonymous vv said...

nope ... no underwear ... ha


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