An Awesome Week In Review…

17 Nov

I have had just an amazing last few days.  Let me catch you up…

The week begain with Monday as my day off from work, yeah!  I started off the day by sleeping in (sleeping until 6am is sleeping in because I usually get up by 4am) and then heading to a nice leisurely breakfast (about 2 hours).  I sat with people I had not seen while I eat breakfast and made plans to take a tour of the waste plant later in the week.  It may not sound exciting, but these are cool people, so it has to be fun!  The morning continued by a trip to the gerbil gym for a great workout.  I had the gym pretty much to myself and it was wonderful. 

Next, I headed to visit my friend Peggy, another employee who packages most the food for the groups of people that go out to the field camps and various other expeditions.  The food is mostly dried or frozen, like we have in the kitchen, but a much bigger and better variety to offer.  She puts it all together to make it easier for travel and storage.  Linda and I befriended her during Winfly and realized she’s just this amazing women that is always great to be around.  She’s been coming down here for the last 12 years and has a wealth of knowledge about life on this continent.  While visiting with Peggy, we (Linda and I) made plans for the first (of many hopefully) Fresh Mexican Night!  Peggy had scored some fresh avocado and limes from some friends that just came in from NZ and in the kitchen, we had some lemons, tomatoes, and red onions, recently cooked black beans, and we picked up some frozen fish from Peggy’s stash.  It was the makings of a great Mexican night!  We made arrangements to meet at the BFC (Berg Field Center) kitchen later that night.

Later Monday evening after a day of relaxation and napping, Linda and I headed to meet Peggy and Anne, another good connection down here.  Anne has also been coming down here for the last 12 years and works at LDB (long distance ballon-a balloown that is sent around the earth to gather information about what’s going on in our atmosphere).  What is extraordinary about Ann is that in 1993 she was one of four to ski, yes, ski, across Antarctica in an all women’s group.  If you are interested in more informatio about Anne’s journey, check out  When we arrived at the BFC, we were greeted with fresh margaritas and smiling faces of hungry friends.  We sat around and nibbled on homemade fresh salsa and guacamole and had an awesome dinner of fish tacos and bean burrito’s thanks to Linda and some spare time at work!  We sat around and enjoyed each other’s company while Peggy and Anne shared their worldly wisdom of McMurdo with us.  it was an eye opening and educational experience.  I look forward to move night of fresh food, drinks and great company!

What continued my week of goodness was the great day I had on Wednesday.  I worked, blah, blah, blah, as usual, but decided to engage in an aerobics class titled ‘Butts & Guts’ later that afternoon.  How could this NOT be fun!  The class was lead by this extremely energetic women that I don’t think had the total of 1# of fat on her body.  She made my buts and guts move more than they had in since being down here, other than being filled.  I enjoyed the challenge of the class, but didn’t like the format.  I might try it again every now and then, but will have to check out other fitness classes. 

After the B&G class, I decided to stay in the class and join the Tap Dance class.  Now I had danced when I was a kid (many years ago) and have thought that it would be fun to participate as an adult, but had never taken the next steps to try it.  This was my chance!  It was GREAT!  I was one of four and one was the teacher, Dorothy!  Dorothy is this rockstar tap dancer that has been doing this for umpteen years!  She’s an excellent teacher and I was even improving by the end of the evening.  It was great fun and I would like to continue participating in this class.  Maybe when I return I can put on a recital for those interested. 

To conclude my day, yes, there’s more, I joined the group in the dinning room that was playing cards.  It was a surly group with the Rabbi (Dr. Don) and two others that work around the station.  I met nice people and learned some new card games.  I enjoyed the time spent together and look forward to attending this ‘game night’ again next Wedensday!

The next exciting evening took place on Thursday with a hike to the NZ base.  Linda, Jenny (the administrative assistant to the Executive and the Head Chef), and I headed there early in the evening.  It was a beautiful evening, about 15 degrees (yes, that’s beautiful!) and not much wind.  The hike is pretty easy to get there, about 2 1/2 miles with a slight incline, but much tougher on the return trip.  Linda was a bit tired (see below), but we did our best to keep here going strong.  We walked there, played around in the NZ store (got some holiday shopping ideas) and looked at some of the pressure ridges then took the shuttle back to McMurdo (yes, we took the easy way out, but it had been a long day of work!)  When we got back to the dinning hall, we snacked (we’d worked up a good appetite and deserved it) and ran into Dan, the president of NANA Services, Inc. (the big cheese of the company I work for, the company that Raytheon contracts for food services, hospitality, and janitorial services).  Dan was extremely friendly and shared with us how he was enjoying his stay down here so far. 

This is Linda who's too tired to continue walking!

This is Linda who was too tired to walk anymore.

This is when Linda and Jenny made up!

This is when Linda and Jenny made up!

This is Jenny trying to make Linda get up and walk.

This is Jenny trying to make Linda get up and walk.


These are pressure ridges.  They are caused by the sea ice being pushed

These are pressure ridges from the NZ base. This is formed by the sea ice and the ice shelf meeting and pushing against each other.

Another view of the pressure ridges.

Another view of the pressure ridges.

I concluded the evening with a stop at Gallagher’s, the local non smoking bar that gets busy as the week goes on.  I ran into some work buddies and was social for a while.  It was a nice way to end a great day!

Okay, so that was just three days of excitement.  I am sure there will be more adventures to report on.  Stay tuned…


One Response to “An Awesome Week In Review…”

  1. Pat Verlo November 20, 2008 at 4:55 pm #

    I have been keeping up with your adventures, and have to say…”what a great choice you made…”
    This has got to be a wonderful learning experience and all the people that you have met, will probably be friends for life!!

    I am so happy for you. When is your tour over? February? Are you thinking about doing this again in the future?

    Love your blog!! Miss ya..

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