Some new tidbits about the upcoming season

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    I got some info about the upcoming summer seasons at Pole and McMurdo:


    They are cutting staff to 168 so they don’t have to open up summer camp, they say they will also cut tasking. Just as many planes will fly in during the summer, the staff will just be smaller in all areas.


    All kinds of new rules going on at McMurdo-housing has completely changed, retail hours will be cut, only one bar will be open, they are moving/shutting down the library while they move it, restricting what you can buy in the station store & what alcohol you can buy, thereby overcrowding the one bar that is open, and they won’t even let you wave money at the bartender to get faster service as they are getting rid of tipping! They won’t allow yoga in the chapel anymore and don’t have anywhere big enough to have it, they are moving the aerobics equipment so it might not be available right away.

    Looks like restrictions, moving, restrictions, more tasking, less staff, so on and so forth. Now we’ll see if these new rules change as the season goes on, I guess only time will tell. Should be a very interesting season to say the least! In a way, I”m glad I got out of the program when I did. It’s funny how many people were just waiting to get back into the program once Uncle Ray Ray left, because they couldn’t stand them and thought it could only get better with the new company!


    “I can’t wait until the new contractor takes over” – just about every RPSC employee EVAR.


    Yeesh! The staff/other restrictions certainly doesn’t bode well for those, like me, trying to break onto the ice. But thank you for sharing, Iceman. At least now I know what I’m up against.


    I wouldn’t worry a lot at this point about any changes. When Raytheon took over it was the same thing. Lots of new ideas and lots of changes. There were many people who couldn’t stand it and left. Some came back some didn’t. I think you will see the same thing here. They will implement what they think will work best for them and the NSF. The stuff that works will stick, the stuff that doesn’t will be replaced by new stuff. About the time they figure it out and get it right, the contract will end and a new contractor will come in to fix what was broke.


    In case you missed it…Peter Rejcek posted an article last week with more details about the McMurdo dorm renovations and the housing policy (Home Sweet Home). Interestingly, the NYANG air crew on crew rest get the first single rooms…and the grantees in 203A/B/C (203-205) get wired internet. There is also a bit more info on the rehab of 155 berthing (planned for this summer) here (Around the Continent)…max room occupancy to be 3 people.


    These were great, articles. Thanks for sharing. I especially loved the one about the Antarctic Film Festival! So glad it seems that tradition is going strong. Can’t wait to get my entry in when/if I can get down there!

    It really seems as though the communities at McMurdo and the Pole strike a good balance between both work and quality of life!


    All in all, I think for most of us that go back, the real draw is the community. From time to time the amount of support varies, but in spite of that the community adapts well. One of my friends once said that Mcmurdo was the eclectic group of people he had ever met. I would agree. People from all walks of life with interests that are equally varied are all thrown together. It’s a little like a college town, but with adults.

    I’m not going down anymore, but I continue to miss the group of people I would eat with every day. They were my family. And what I miss more than anything else is Sunday morning coffee with the group. For years we would meet in a room at 9am on Sunday mornings and for 2 hours chat and laugh until time for Sunday morning brunch in the galley. I’m back in the real world now and everyone works and lives in different places and has to do their own upkeep on houses or have kids and families. We get together, but it’s more like once every couple of months instead of every day. Yeah, I miss my friends on the ice.

    There is a new contractor this year and the program will go through some growing pains, but most people will adapt. If for no other reason, it’s because if you work anyplace it will be for a company with mostly similar goals. Or maybe worse.

    It sounds like you would fit in fine Jpan, so here’s to you getting a contract and good luck



    Your description of the community and supportive kindness only furthers my desire for this job. I really enjoy immersive experiences and connecting with people (I think that’s why I was drawn to documentary production). I think any time you have a group of people experiencing something that is so unique and special, strong bonds form and we all get to discover parts of ourselves no only through the experience and environment, but through the friendships as well.

    I’m disappointed to hear you don’t go down to the ice anymore….I would love to share in the Sunday ritual! =)

    Thanks again! If I ever get a contract, you bet I’ll be lighting up this board!!

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