Antarctica 2013--2014 Part 5: Home Sweet Pole

Photo of my room at South Pole

The flight was canceled before lunch. The next day (December 13) we were scheduled for another 6:45 AM transport. Third time turned out to be the charm. There were only 3 passengers to Pole so we rode out in a van to the "passenger terminal" (a heated building with no bathroom). There we stayed until around 9. Then we went to board the LC-130, which left pretty much on schedule.

The flight was only 3 hours. The weather wasn't great so I didn't get any pictures from the flight. When we landed I was met by the current team at Pole. I got a quick informational video and made it to the galley in time for the end of lunch. Then I heard that the plane was having mechanical problems getting out. (They don't like to keep LC-130s at Pole overnight.) This was bad news for us because 2 team members were scheduled to leave on it. The plane ended up leaving without passengers. They're still stuck here.

This year I have one of the smaller rooms. Last year it was wide enough for the bed to be against one wall and the desk to face the opposite wall. This year, the bed and desk are oriented parallel to each other so the width of the room equals the width of the bed plus the width of the desk. Similar squeezing has been performed on the dressers. I estimate the area to be 6 ft. by 10 ft. The only real upside to the arrangement is that everyone at Pole gets a single.

Now I'm mostly recovering from my cold and acclimating to the altitude. Last night (~1 AM December 14) I'm told Prince Harry arrived for the Walking With the Wounded charitable event. We are supposed to give him a tour of the telescope on Monday, so perhaps I will meet him then. Tonight was also the annual Ladies' Night at SPT (a party hosted by the South Pole Telescope team, being a lady not required for entry). Sadly, I was still too sick to go.

Next time: stations across Antarctica...

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