I always enjoy hearing from the Old Timers. I bet a lot has changed down here in the last twenty years since you were here.
Yes, I’m a winter over this year. This is my second winter and if all goes well I’ll be back for a third winter in January. There aren’t a lot of science projects that go on down here in the winter. For the most part the science is done in deep field camps and require helecopter or air support. During the winter months it’s too cold and dark and the helecopters are shipped out. The science is done during the summer months and starting in the next few weeks the science groups will be coming down in droves. They study almost everything you can think of as Antarctica is one of the last unspoiled places left on the earth. In addition the ice here has been accumulating for thousands of years and has preserved records of past climates.
Our population will swell from just over 200 winterovers to well over a thousand people by the end of October as all the science groups arrive..
I’m not involved directly with any of the science groups. Lorie and I are both part of the support staff on the base. Lorie has been the winter manager in the store for the last few years and I work in Logistics and Supply. For all the science that goes on down here they need a pretty extensive infrastructure ,from vehicle repair to power supply to people who construct the science camps etc. My department supports all of that by getting all the parts and equipment shipped down here. After that we unload everything, assign it to inventory, store it and then when parts are needed we go out and get them. It often times means going out and digging things out of snow drifts.
During the summer it is very difficult to do major repairs and upgrades here. There are just too many people. The time for that is during the winter. This year I’m in supply in the carp shop and also more or less running the tool issue room. In previous years I’ve been in the Heavy Equipment Repair shop, and helped out a little with food inventories in the freezer. Everyone in supply is also involved with unloading the annual supply ship that arrives each year in February.
Any chance we may see you come down again? Last year we had a fellow from the 80’s return. It’s about time for another.