Friday, October 12, 2007

It's almost summer

The end is in sight. After 6 months without the sun, 6 months since our fresh fruit ran out, 8 months since the last plane took off, we are about to end our isolation and are expecting company next week.

The first scheduled arrivals are the Basler, a twin engine DC-3, and a Twin Otter which have flown all the way from Canada down the length of the Americas to get to Antarctica. They will be coming from South America via Rothera Station (British) and will stop here sometime on Monday, weather depending. The Basler will refuel then go on to McMurdo and the Otter will spend the night then get going.

On Oct 17, the "soft opening" is scheduled to begin with the Basler returning here with 18 Polies. A total of six Basler trips is planned over the following week or so, each one bringing in 18 people, including our replacements, fuelies, cargo people, cooks, dishwashers, managers and others. Then the official station opening day is scheduled for Oct 29 with the arrival of the first LC-130 planes bringing in the masses for the summer.

Hopefully on Oct 29 I will be on a plane heading north, the only direction possible from here. A replacement PA was hired but only until early December...after that, who knows. Today I signed an offer letter to return next winter for my 5th and LAST one. I know I've said that before but I mean it this time. It promises to be a good crew next year with some familiar faces from this winter, past winters and other seasons. There will be quite a few first timers too, but we were all a first timer at some point.

I'll keep you posted.


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