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August 8, 2002 at 4:20 am #119Evo1973Member
I’ve been isolated from the civilized world, but I had T.V. and Telephones to help ease the monotiny. What kinds of activities do you do to maintain your sanity?
EvanAugust 8, 2002 at 7:15 am #1514
We have most of the amenities of modern life. There is a satelite phone link. You need a calling card of some type to use it. They are sold in the store. Unfortunately it is a dial out only for personal use. Your friends can’t call you in your room.
The TV is an armed forces station and consists of a conglomerate of news programs from all the networks combined into one channel. We have a sport channel and a mixed channel of news sports and old reruns (Leave it to Beaver;Brady Bunch etc.).
The recreation dept puts together dances and theme parties. There is a coffee house where people can gather. Sometimes musicians will put on “acoustic night” performances. There are 2 bars, one for smokers and one for non smokers.
Our bowling alley is a hot one for the winter with lots of teams competing.It’s a bit old fashioned as they hire people part time to stand at the back and set the pins.
The gym hosts basketball, soccor, volleyball and a climbing wall.
Other than that most people get very creative. My old boss used to say that an ideal worker down here is a person who can comfortably go out to dinner or to the movies by themselves and be perfectly happy keeping themselves amused. Look at the blue section on the left at some of trips that my friend Clark and I put together to bring people out of town. That was my amusement.
mikeAugust 23, 2002 at 10:24 am #1515
Well… this IS interesting! I am a member of several message boards from around the world so you can imagine my surprise when I found this one!
Allow me to introduce myself… My name is Dave. I build websites and develop graphic design for print advertising and television. It is a home-based business that keeps me out of trouble. I live in central Canada about 40 miles west of the city of Toronto in the province of Ontario.
In my travels I too have lived in some pretty isolated places in northern Canada… Jasper Alberta and Tuktoyuktuk on the shores of the Arctic Ocean so I can well imagine some of what you might be experiencing although your isolated location is a little too extreme for me. Besides… I can barely tolerate the winter around here so I don’t think I’d have a whole lot of fun shovelling the sidewalk down there!
I look forward to conversing with you and your other members. I check my message boards daily.August 24, 2002 at 12:32 am #1516
It’s funny how we adapt down here. It reminds me of the movie Mystery Alaska. The locals played hockey all the time no problem but when the New York Rangers came down they found it cold. We are getting our first flights of the new season this week. I’m a volunteer cargo handler for the duration and have to go out to the airfield to unload the planes. On the last flight it hit -47 below zero. It was cold but as long as we were moving around it wasn’t too bad. The plane didn’t fare too well. It has to be warmer than 50 below to land the airplanes because the cold begins to gel the hydraulics. We were on the borderline and while they were on the ground the flaps got so sluggish that they deemed it too risky for passengers. The winterovers that were scheduled to leave had to go back to town to wait for the next flight. The next day we had a storm hit which dumped snow everywhere so the flight had to be canceled again while they cleared the runway. They’ll try again today. Look in the winfly photo album for photos.
mikeAugust 24, 2002 at 4:07 am #1517
mike+lorie… -47? Yup, that’s cold alright! I have a question… I thought of this last night because thinking of you folks down there reminded me of my time in the “Tuk”. We have polar bears up there… (lots of polar bears) and yet the only animal I’m familar with when it comes to Antarctica is the penguin. Are there others? Do you have pics?August 25, 2002 at 6:46 am #1518
We have a variety of wildlife down here. Most all of it is in the summer. No polar bears, they are only in the northern hemisphere. Since we are on the ocean most of what we have are marine mammals and birds. Come November the Antarctic Skuas make their annual return to here to nest. They look a lot like a giant seagull but are somewhat preditary, feeding on the penguin nests, and anything else they can find. Some have learned that if they swoop down on people carrying food sometimes the food gets dropped and they get a free meal. We are bound by Antarctic Treaty rules not to feed them though. We have 2 penguins. The most common are the adelie penguins, which look like a cartoon penguin with a tuxedo. The other is the emperor penguins. They are tall and colorful and are mostly found out on the ice shelf. All of the mammals are marine. There are weddell seals, which look like giant slugs. They chew holes in the ice and come up to rest. From October to December the Cape Armitage trail is open. It connects McMurdo to Scott base walking around on the sea ice. At one point it nears the pressure ridges and cracks where the seals come up and you can walk right up past them. As long as they are not agitated and trying to get away then we are allowed to watch them. On rare occaisions there are also leapord seals, but I’ve never seen one. When the icebreakers come in and opens a path to open ocean we will get both minke and orca whales.In a couple of weeks they should be installing the ob tube again so we can look at the underwater life. In the dead of summer when the ice around hut point melts you can sometimes see jellyfish in the water.
So as you can see there is plenty to look at.
mikeAugust 25, 2002 at 3:46 pm #1519
I really enjoyed your letter, though I do not think I could be there now, my wheelchair battery would freeze and i’d be stuck. A friend of mine gave me a new book on Antartica so I can see pic’s it looks fun. I wish you the best keep in touch
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