How did you get interested in Antarctica?


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  • #800
    Anonymous
    Member

    Hello all!

    How did everyone get interested in Antarctica, and for those of you living there or who have lived there in the past, how was your first hand experience different from your initial expectations?? I feel like I’m interviewing y’all for college, but really! I’m curious!

    Alex

    #7965
    Anonymous
    Member

    😀 I read about McMurdo in a magazine for 911 dispatchers..It sounded intriguing. I gave it some thought, and after about 3 weeks decided that this was something I was going to work towards, but I would need to wait until my kids were a little older. I was going to share the idea with my mom, but she passed away before I had a chance to tell her. I had just about abandoned the idea of going down there, but a friend told me I should do it anyway, as a promise to myselfand to mom..It has now been two years, and I still have thoughts of going down. I have a few minor medical issues that I want to get straightened out before I even apply, figure I will stand a better chance of being PQ’d…Hopefully, next year I can apply..Other than being pq’d, the only other major hurdle I will have is getting a 5 month leave of absence from work…But after 18 years of service, I dont see why they wouldnt approve it…

    #7964
    Anonymous
    Member

    I have a slightly different experience from others who end up here. I’m second generation Antarctic Support.

    My dad worked down here from the time I was 8 until I was in my teens. My Mom came down for one summer, and my brother tried it out once as well. My father continued working his work after he stopped coming down by building equipment used by the U.S. and other Antarctic Programs. So, you could say that I was raised to be here.

    When I arrived I already new what a lot of the buildings were called and had a general idea of what the layout of the station would be. I never expected to fall in love with the place and definitely did not see my veteran status coming along. (I’ve done 2.5 summers and 4 winters!) While the scenery is beautiful it is the people who keep me coming back. I refer to Ross Island as the Isle of Misfit Toys. You will never find a higher concentration of interesting people as you do here.

    #7963
    Iceman
    Member

    I saw an ad in the LA Times for wintering and sent in a resume. Ended up being a smart move since I got laid off the next week and they called me to go there. I didn’t have any pre-expectations. I just didn’t imagine working 75 percent of the time during the winter outside. Ran a lot of heat trace that winter.

    #7962
    thepooles98
    Keymaster

    My wife and I had just finished a 10 month sail across the pacific from LA to New Zealand. We saw an ad in the NZ paper about Scott Base and thought it would be cool. We were working as volunteers in a NZ National park when a new volunteer showed up. He had just got off the ice and filled us in on everything we wanted to know. We flew back home, took a bus to Denver, went to the job fair and then did the customary wait. That was 6 years ago and we have been coming down ever since.
    Mike

    #7960
    Sciencetech
    Keymaster

    I was working in Denver and desperate to get out of the windowless cubicle-hell I was stuck in. I had seen the ads (for ASA and ITT) and finally decided to apply. I didn’t know anybody who had been to the Ice, and no clue what I was getting into. It took two years to get hired.
    :mrgreen:

    #7961
    Anonymous
    Member

    I was in Japan to go to a friend’s wedding. After the wedding I was staying with another friend and we went down to her parent’s house in Wakayama. Her dad is the school principal or something and so they were temporarily hosting the new JET who had just arrived from the US. So, my friend and her mum were napping or something and the JET and I walked down to the river and she told me her next adventure would be Antarctica, she had heard about Raytheon. Antarctica, I thought, interesting… So of course the moment I heard it I wanted to go. So, hopefully I can go. I’m hoping. Well, these days I am nostalgic for Japan too, ahh, so many places, so little time. 😮

    #7959
    skua77
    Keymaster

    When I was in the Navy my first assignment was in Washington, DC, I knew I wasn’t going to stay in past my original obligation, and when they were looking for volunteers to winter over that seemed like the only way I would “see the world.” Well, that got me a one-week trip to McMurdo, but they cancelled the w/o assignment “because of budget cuts, some of the work is being turned over to a civilian contractor.”

    Well, the ploy worked, because by then my replacement had showed up so the Navy had to send me somewhere else. So I ended up in a Seabee battalion and saw a good bit of the world. Meanwhile I found out who the civilian contractor was, so after I got out and went back to school for a year…

    And the rest is history…the place obviously got in my blood…so here I am again wintering with a bunch of good folks some of whom weren’t even born the first time I was here.

    #7958
    Anonymous
    Member

    Well I found out a fellow 4 wheeler was an engineer and since I was just getting out of college asked if he knew of any jobs available. I got an e-mail a few days later asking if I was willing to travel. Hell yeah I was, to where? Antarctica? What, the south pole? Where do I sign? We’ll see how much I like it.
    -Nate

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