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    If you’re using RayJobs (www.rayjobs.com) to find Antarctic work, most of the jobs are being listed as in “CO – Centennial”, not Antarctica. FYI



    Thanks Glenn,
    Should have put that up again this year. When is the job fair? If people are buying tickets it much be coming up soon.
    I don’t think the timeline for the start of next season has been soldified yet. I’m expecting oldtimers to start getting contracts within a few weeks. The last I heard is wasn’t going to be a short season this year. The whole season was getting pushed back a month. Start a month later. End a month later in March instead of Feb. I haven’t heard much else beyond that. Maybe that will help my chances of finding a summer seasonal job. Starting in August was a bit of pain in that respect. I had to leave in the middle of the summer season.
    Lorie and are heading to Crescent City, Ca. this week to look for a home. Whether we buy or not we should be their for the summer. If you get bored and need a road trip come see us once we get settled. It right on the CA/OR border.  Both of us would love to accomodate you. It is a small beach town and has Redwoods National Park, 3 Ca. State Redwood parks, Lake Earl State Park and the Smith River- a salmon fishing river. Not much employment though. It will be hit or miss to find a summer job. I get unemployment through August, so should have enough time to find something. Such is the life of the Antarctic Wanderers, Hey?


    Hi Mike,

    The job fair is April 13 at RPSC HQ. Here’s the link to the official notice:

    I’m familiar with Crescent City, although it’s been a long time since I was last there. I went to school in Ashland, just over the CA/OR border in that same area. I hope you find a place — it will give me an excuse to come down for a visit!

    Employment is pretty thin in Port Townsend too. I’m not yet ready for another stint on the Ice (after 2 consecutive winters and a summer at the Pole). It would be nice to find interesting work around ‘home’ for a while… I’m hopeful but not holding my breath.

    [Let this be a waring to all the Antarctic applicants lurking out there — this lifestyle will really screw you up! I guess that only matters if you’re not screwed up already, like me.]

    Life is good. I took two weeks in Vanuatu for some diving and a trip to an active volcano, now I’m at home putzing around the house and diving right down the road. And waiting for the warm, sunny weather to arrive…



    Hey Mike, I was always wondering what you did during the off-season.
    say….was Vince Cox running the show during the last summer season or
    winter? I also hear the pay scale bump from previous years service has
    changed since the first or second year Raytheon took over, is that true?

    Rick Brohman
    Northern MN

    Exercise your brain! Try Flexicon.


    Vince ran the show last winter. Never really heard anyone complain. I found him relatively professional and easy to work with. He, like everyone else has to work within the rules. Raytheon has forced everyone to be more businesslike and professional.
    Not everyone would agree, but in my opinion things are better under raytheon than ASA. Mostly, because it’s more businesslike. ASA was a repository for people escaping the “REAL” world. While it was fun, and somewhat fulfilling to the soul, it was also full little megamaniacs, who ruled by whims. You never really knew who you might anger and for what reasons.
    Raytheon is more big business. It is extremely safety concious and you have rather concrete rules to follow. No more, this guy wants this and that guy wants that. In some ways it’s a pain for those who want to just jury rig everything to get the job done. Now it’s mostly by the book. If code says to do it one way, then it’s done one way. If we don’t have the parts, the job goes on hold while they engineer the repair and order what is needed.
    As far as  pay goes, I think it varies from dept to dept. A lot depends on your “journeyman” status. If you are untrained or lightly trained, your pay is less. If you are a certified journeyman or master, then you get more money. The pay is still less than or equal to comparable jobs in the states. However, when you factor in free food, electricity, housing, gas, vehicle and everything else you normally pay for at home,but don’t down there, the overall amount you save tends to be a lot more than at home.
    For those of you going down, it’s the most lucrative if you don’t have a second home to maintain back in the states. People will rent out their homes to keep the expenses down. The free ticket home is also lucrative as  you can trade the value of the ticket to anywhere you want to go. As Glenn said, he went to Vanuatu, I’ve been to Rarotonga, Attu, Aitutaki, Fiji, NZ, and Austrailia.It’s a nice side trip home each year.
    This year there was a travel blip. Alaska Air changed rules and anyone who had to fly originally on that airline had to get non refundable tickets. Basically for them they could vacation as long as they wanted in NZ (not a bad thing), but the airflight home was from Christchurch to their airport of departure.


    Thanks for the positive report Mike, I hope the best for you and your dear
    wife during the off season.

    For all those planning on going to Antarctica…..focus on the adventure and
    make the most of it, its a neat place to be and the travel opportunities can
    be very rewarding.


    Interest Rates near 39yr lows! $430,000 Mortgage for $1,399/mo – Calculate
    new payment


    Hi Mike,

    I agree with your assessment of the differences between ASA and mother Raytheon. I would add that the difference is exactly what riles-up some people — the corporate culture clashes with the free-spirit lifestyle of many Ice employees. I’ve worked for other corporations in the past, so RPSC is just more of the same to me… Cookie-cutter corporations all treat employees like “human resources”, not people.

    Pay raises do seem to be departmentally dependent. Some salaries have not changed in recent years.

    BTW, I was caught up in that Alaska Airlines snafu. I got a stopover in Auckland and paid for the side trip on my own; had too much trouble trying to change/exchange the ticket.



    Hey []
    Good to see a new face here. Welcome to the discussion boards. We seem to be one of the main places people ask questions about life on the ice. What’s nice is that we have a fair number of ice people who respond. It gives people a very broad idea of what life is like as everyone sees things a little different. I’m going to welcome you to be one of the regulars.
    As to the job fair. I don’t need to go as I’m returning to the same job and am already in the loop. I would guess if you are going back to the same job, you could call your bosses and see if it’s necessary. Even if you already are going to be hired the job fair can be a fun way to touch base with people.
    As to life off the ice, Lorie and I are leaving today to go north. We are making a stop in Paso Robles. My neice is probably being induced into labor tomorrow. After that we are just going north with no real plan. We may stay with Maryann Barnhart, who wintered with us in 2005, for a few days while we find and appartment. After that, I get an unemployment check till august.
    We are going to a coastal town, so it might be a little more interesting than the farmlands of Iowa, but who knows. I was reading the online newspaper yesterday and next weekend is the Aleutian Goose Festival. Apparently they were down to 700 in the 60’s and now are at 60,000 and off the endangered species list. They all stop over in Crescent City every year. Should be interesting.
    Got to go. I’ll be travelling and off the web for a few weeks, so I’ll let the rest of you carry on for me.
    Have a fun summer and goodluck at the job fair.


    I just found out that the job fair is coming up in a few days.  Do you think it’s neccesary (or highly recommended) to attend the job fair to increase my chances of being hired?  Most flights from Boston are $500+ at this point.
    I’ll be applying for accounting / HR / administrative / coordinator positions.  I have 10+ years experience and a BA.


    Hi Lindy,

    It’s recommended but not absolutely necessary.

    FYI, the jobs you’ve mentioned can be very competitive, mostly because there’s only a few slots for each position. I can’t say if that makes it more or less necessary to go to the job fair, but you might consider expanding your search to include other jobs as well — anything that looks interesting, even if you don’t know the exact requirements or don’t have the perfect qualifications.

    Good luck, and let us know how things work out.



    Lindy, just going to the job fair doesn’t boost your chances at all. People who go, don’t talk much, don’t promote themselves and don’t follow up, don’t have any advantage.  The only beauty of the job fair is that people get to meet you face to face. If they seem interested, you may get the opportunity to keep in touch and that is what keeps your name in the front of all the others who have similar or better credentials. It’s just another tool for moving yourself ahead of the pack.
    Forgetting the job fair and doing just the rayjobs aps will get lots of people hired, but if you go that route you are another application in potentially hundreds. Your application alone is going to have to stand out from the crowd. As Glenn said, there are only a few jobs in the catagories you are looking for.
    The other end is that probably most people who go to the fair won’t get hired. They wouldn’t have been hired on the basis of their applications either. The first people to get hired are hired on absolute merit. However, here comes the intricacies of the program. You get hired at the start of the summer for a job starting in October. In between you have to stay unemployed, be temp or seasonal, or be transient. That means for many, a very nice high pay job comes along and at the last minute decide not to go down. Boom an opportunity for someone less qualified.
    If an applicant decides to still go down, then there is the girlfriend, wife, husband or boyfriend who says if you leave they are leaving. For many, the choice means keeping their relationships together and again at the last minute they back out. Another opportunity for someone less qualified, but willing to go down at a moments notice.
    Finally there is the whole medical issue. Many get hired, want to go down, but wait so long to get there medicals done that they run out of time to get all the tests done. That happens a lot. Boom another chance for you.
    All in all there are lots of opportunities to get in at the last minute, but if you are one of hundreds sitting in a pile on someones desk, you may go unnoticed. What seems to most of us that have been following the process is that Raytheon will say there is not a need to keep in touch. But for those who keep in touch anyway, there seems to be high percentage who get hired. There are new hiring guidelines this year, so I’m not sure how much personal contact enters in anymore, but I’d be willing to say it will still help if you are enthusiastic and can do the job you are applying for.
    500 dollars? I probably wouldn’t unless I was planning on vacationing in the area as well. My first year, I took a 24 hour miserable bus trip. 189 dollars and two people ride for the one person rate. I don’t know if this is an option from the east coast. That would be a long trip and even more miserable.
    Anyway, good luck whichever way you go. Let us know how it went.


    Glenn & Mike –
    I tried replying earlier, but I don’t think it was properly sent.  I apologize if this shows up twice.
    With my work load and classes, there’s just no way I’ll be able to attend the Job Fair on such short notice.  I’ll just have to make my application and resume that much more outstanding.  And I’ll take a look at the jobs again to see how I can expand my search.
    I’m looking for an opportunity to work abroad, then do some traveling before I start grad school.  I currently have a full-time position, but am ready to quit.
    Question for the future – Have you heard of any positions on the ice for statisticians with a Master’s degree?  I know it really wouldn’t be included in the regular support staff jobs, but have you heard of any positions like this with the scientific expeditions?


    You might not miss too much. A winter storm is forcasted for thursday night and Friday morning, the day of the job fair. Looks like there will be a moderate amount of snow and travel will be tricky and unpleasant. I live down the street but I hope the hiring managers for my department of interest will make it in okay! Last year I flew in from Dallas for the event and recall being amazed at seeing a few snow flurries that morning in April.


    There is a blizzard watch for Monument which is about 40 miles to the south
    (where I live). Travel from the south may be impossible on Friday morning.
    -Kevin T

    >From: “Antarctic memories”
    >Reply-To: “Antarctic memories”
    >To: “Antarctic memories”
    >Subject: Re: RayJobs
    >Date: Wed, 11 Apr 2007 19:04:14 -0700

    >New Message on Antarctic memories

    >From: Renegade0479
    >Message 14 in Discussion
    >You might not miss too much. A winter storm is forcasted for thursday night
    >and Friday morning, the day of the job fair. Looks like there will be a
    >moderate amount of snow and travel will be tricky and unpleasant. I live
    >down the street but I hope the hiring managers for my department of
    >interest will make it in okay! Last year I flew in from Dallas for the
    >event and recall being amazed at seeing a few snow flurries that morning in

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    Hello everyone,

    I’ve kept an eye out on the storm, too.  Will be heading out (driving) about 8:00 this morning.
    Should arrive mid-afternoon. 

    I’ve waited 2 years for this job fair!!!
    Wishing a safe journey for all – and good luck with getting the jobs you want!


    (aka Jo Schwartz)

    The average US Credit Score is 675. The cost to see yours: $0 by Experian.

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