After four nights in McMurdo, we finally arrived at the South Pole last evening around 8:00 pm. I don't know what it is, but something about the time I've spent here makes it special. Of all the places I've lived and seen the Pole and the home I grew up in are most vivid in my mind. Walking off that plane, seeing the telescope off in the distance... it was like I never left. It's really great to be back!
Cargo and bags on the LC-130 headed to Pole. Almost there...
The rest of the SPT crew already down here greeted us outside as is the tradition, and after a round of hugs we headed inside to get our room assignments. Most of the rooms in station are like the one I had last year - just wide enough for a bed and a tiny desk. This year, however, we all got rooms in the A1 berthing, which has rooms an extra 3 feet wide or so, along with a much larger desk. It doesn't sound like much, but that extra space really goes a long way. I can sit at my desk without concern that if I move in any way (let alone get up from the desk) I'll bump the walls and wake my neighbor. After the cramped living space last year this feels like flying first class.
A big room in A1. Lucky!
This year I decided to bring Zazz Malcolm Peribothra Grant with me. He's a good sea turtle.
My huge desk. I brought lots of halloween candy to share with folks, and hopefully enough yarn to crochet myself a new pair of slippers.
Once we settled into our rooms we headed to the galley to grab some food. Dinner ended an hour or so before we landed, but there were plenty of desserts and fresh fruit left over to snack on. After chatting for a while, I headed to the Science lab where most of the SPT'ers already down here were working hard on a calibration measurement that needs to get done before the receiver team can take the camera apart. After a bit of an information download and about 5 glasses of water (very important because of the dryness and altitude) I headed to my room to decompress and get some sleep. Finally made it!
South Pole Station galley. Nicholas, pictured here, was one of our two winter-overs.