One more time…

2 Oct

Season Four…Palmer Station.

Okay, so I really had decided that last year was going to be my LAST YEAR in Antarctica, but alas, an amazing opportunity presented itself. The position as Food Service Supervisor at Palmer Station became available. Palmer Station is known as the ‘Club Med’ of the program with warmer temperatures, amazing scenery, and more wild life.  After days of considering this opportunity, I hesitantly applied, concerned about deploying again for 8-8 monhts.  All the stars seemed to align and now I am at Palmer Station for my fourth season in the program.

Palmer Station is the third US station in the United States Antarctic Program.  The station is the only US station located north of the Antarctic cirlcle.  It sits on Anvers Island, on the Antarctic Penninsula.  It is named after Nathaniel B. Palmer who was likely to be one of the first three people to see Antarctica.  Palmer Station was completed in 1968 and is primarily dedicated to marine biology  The station temperatures average 35 degrees Farenheight in the summer and 10 degrees Farenarehight in the winter; significantly warmer than the other stations and greater moisture on this part of the continent.  Palmer has a summer population of almost 50 and about 15 in the winter.  It’s a very small station in comparision to the South Pole and McMurdo Stations, with a very charming, homey feeling.

After several days of Orientation in the Denver offices, we started our Deploment.  We flew to Dallas and then onto Santiago, Chile.  Each of our scheduled flights were delayed for some reason or another.  You would think this would create frustration and angst, but this just gave us more time to becoming acquainted with each other, the airport and the adult beverages it provided.  There was also a good amount of people watching which is always entertaining and insightful.

The American Airlines flight from Dallas was almost 10 hours and in a slightly older model plane than the flights to New Zealand on Quantas Airlines.  We didn’t have our own In-Flight entertainment centers in the seat in front of us.  It was pretty rough and archaic.  We had to share a few movie screens for the ENTIRE plane (except First Class).  Fortunately, we did get fed and the flight attendants were very helpful and courteous.

In Santiago, we were met by Jimmy, a very sweet man who works for AGUNSA, a company that specialized in travel logistics for people and cargo.  Jimmy has worked for the program for many years and from the reputation he has, has done an amazing job.  We were greeted with a kiss to both cheeks and an ‘Hola.’  It was at this point that I realized I had not rememberred as much high school spanish as I had hoped.  OY!  Thankfully, Jimmy escorted us extremely efficiently through Customs and directly to our domestic connection.  The whole process from landing to checking in again took under one hour.  This guy is GOOD!

We flew from Santiago to Puenta Arenas and were greeted by another AGUNSA representative; a very nice lady, but no cheek kissing, and thus, I can’t recall her name.  We collected our luggage and boarded a shuttle into town.

This was going to be the start to an exciting adventure…

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2 Responses to “One more time…”

  1. cher99840 October 5, 2011 at 8:43 pm #

    Ahhh Marci, I’m glad you are blogging again this season. I have enjoyed your adventures immensely. Sorry I won’t meet you at McMurdo this season.

  2. Tim November 8, 2011 at 9:43 pm #

    Great blog Marci, Looks like you are having a great time. I like the part about the toe I’ll tell everyone at the 24 hour tuesday night class to check it out. Be safe, no more fires!

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