A crappy day and an amazing day....(LOTS OF PICS....EVEN PENGUINS!)
McMurdo Station Travel Blog› entry 4 of 7 › view all entries
September 30th, 2007 – by: mtfd528
Tomorrow I have my first Bartender meeting. Thats right I will be working as a bartender at some of the most southern bars in the world. Its a fun thing to do that pays minimum wage plus tips, you can do pretty well actually, up to a few hundred a night in some cases.
I did finally make my move to the suburbs...however I didnt get the upper class suburbs of 211 or 210. I ended up with 201 which means smaller rooms, and a slightly longer walk. The upside is the heated bathroom floors woohoo! I will be living with my good buddy Mitch.
Now... onto my crappy day...
Some of the duties (no pun intended) that come with being the fire inspector for the southern continent are rather interesting. One of them is doing safety standbys when someone needs to do a confined space entry. These are usually a storage tank of some sort that needs to be repaired or most freqiently cleaned.... such as the open pits in the waste water treatment plant... yes the place where everything goes when you flush it down the toilet. Poobaca*, our neighborhood Sewage Smith needed to go down into the one of three sewage "trains" that had not been put online yet to clean up some "pockets of sludge and the propeller". The sewage train is essentially the area where the sewage is treated by "fecal microbes" thats right, no chemicals its all micro-biology, and rather interesting also.
Now for my amazing sunday...
I signd up to be an alternate for a delta** trip to Cape Evans, approximatley 14 miles north of McMurdo station. The big draw of Cape Evans is that it is the locations of Captain Scott's Terra Nova hut. The basic story behind the hut is this...
Originally built by R F Scotts team on his ill-fated Terra Nova expedition to the Pole.*** The hut was later used By Shckleton's party as part of his Trans-Antarctic Expedition. Where the men' ship blew to sea standing them at the hut for roughly 3 years, with no idea the fate of "The Boss" Shackleton.
The entire story of the hut and both expeditions can be found at the link below courtesy of the Antarctic Heritage Trust, who is responsible for the upkeep and preservations of these sites.
So we gathered outside, all 14 of us to load into the two deltas and "set sail" on the white ocean for Cape Evans. The ride in a delta is best described as rough. A smooth ride on one means constant rocking back and forth. Most of the windows in the passenger area of the delta have spiderweb style cracks.... from peoples heads smacking into them on large bumps. The insides have inscribings of nearly 50 years of Antarctic Program Participants and stickers from all over the world. The weather quickly deteriorated, and at some points visibility came down to roughly 50 feet. Soon we heard from our driver on the radio to look out of the left side of the delta.... and there they were...
Upon arrival at the hut we walked from our deltas about 100 yards to the Hut. Everything there is the original artifacts left over the years You must be careful of your step on the way up, not only for the tidal cracks in the ice, but for errant artifacts that cannot be touched or moved, even if they are very much in the way. The outside of the hut has sledges, skis, and somewhere under the snow that we could not uncover is a dog, which could not be taken with when they hasticlly left the hut after 3 years and had to be shot, to this day it lays next to the hut still chained up.
*Yes he is known as Poobaca around station, and is an excellent person.
** A delta is a big orange people transporter that was brought down here by the navy. it is a bumpy ride that throws you around in back even with your seat belt on. These are used for recreational trips since they are very solid and can push throw a lot of rough situations and can also carry quite a few people.
***Upon his arrival at the pole Scott found a flag and tent belong to Roland Amundsen who had beaten him there by nearly a month using only trained dog sled teams. This is why the South Pole Station is known as the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station. While enroute back to the hut, Scott and his men took a wrong turn and died in a blizzard. They were found a mere 11 miles from one of his supply depots where they would have been safe and alive.
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