17 February...after not one but TWO closing flights, the 45 winterovers were finally left alone for the winter after the power plant overhaul team left on the final closing Herc flight on the 16th. Up north, tanker season is over, and the Polar Star, has been diverted for a rescue mission for the second season in a row (news).
Happy New Year! Yes...there is a new Pole marker.
It seems that private pilot Bill Harrelson overflew Pole on an unsuccessful attempt to break a round-the-world record (he had to turn around and head back to PA due to headwinds. And closer to station, cryo was moved about 50 feet east on 27 December...what will happen to the BIF?.
Christmas was celebrated in the traditional ways at Pole, science is humming, there are winterover jobs unfilled, and the McMurdo shipping season is about to begin.
On Monday 1 December, controls tech Thomas Lawrence Atkins was found dead in his room.
On 30 November, the Coast Guard icebreaker Polar Star left its Seattle homeport for the Antarctic and McMurdo.
23 November...the tourist skiers/kiters/walkers/runners are on the way south. No bicycles this year, but there is a Ferguson tractor reminiscent of Hillary's...a "snow sailer," and who knows what else. I've been tracking these treks since 1999.
16 November: the season is in full swing. 130+ souls are at Pole, fortunately the rodwell was fixed before they all showed up. And a bit north...the first of the three scheduled traverses was already making its way up the Leverett Glacier.
On Thursday 6 November the first Herc finally landed. And the rodwell was back on line, just in time. The flight scheduled for Monday was delayed and eventually cancelled until Tuesday after folks were halfway to Williams Field. And as for Tuesday...folks made it all the way to Pole before the flight boomeranged due to poor visibility .
28 October...weather at McM improved, and the Basler returned with the first passengers of summer! The first Pole Herc flight was scheduled for Monday 3 November, but now we know better.
Wednesday 1 October...the first C-17 flight scheduled for Monday was delayed 24 hours...but did fly on Tuesday. And meanwhile at Pole, it seems that the rodwell pump....wasn't pumping .
Winfly at McMurdo finally started on 24 August after a 4-day weather delay. And there was bad news that Pole satellite connectivity was about to shrink.
20 June...it's the dark of winter...Midwinters Day is almost here...and Polies are getting interviewed. Meanwhile...hiring is underway for next season. Applying for a job with Lockheed-Martin or any of the subcontractors is NOT rocket science, I've demystified things here. And yes, there are lots of jobs available.
Sunset happened...and as often happens, the disappearance of the sun was caused by clouds. But, the big Pole dinner was on Saturday 22 March. This was at the end of the week which saw the announcement of what some consider to be the science breakthrough of the year...a discovery by BICEP2 in DSL.
Want an Antarctic job? On this page I've provided everything you need to know about (or at least where to find) how to get a job...updated 30 December 2014.
A Polie book you might be interested in...one of my fellow 2008 winterovers, Josiah Heiser, has published an ebook of his life story...almost free (blog and purchase link).
The dome is gone. And the most comprehensive web collection of dome deconstruction photos is here! And the message boards are still around...stop by the new home of Mike Poole's Antarctic Memories, which now includes the archives of Glenn Grant's Iceboard. If you have questions or problems with this excellent resource...the best place for info on jobs and life on the ice, ask me for help!
My second winter was in 2005 as the Title II Inspector (huh, what's that?)...and stayed on for a month after the 21 October station opening until the summer person showed up. I returned to the US on 21 January after 2 months in NZ/OZ. Hopefully before I left I wasn't too toasty to write a feature article for the 30 October 2005 Antarctic Sun..... Read it for yourself and decide...
More news updated 2 March.
What else is here: