Antarctica Dispatch

Journal of my Antarctic experience working to support the United States Antarctic Program.

Southern Most Bar


Last night the 'Dodgy Bastards Bar' was christened, although I think it still remains to be named. The South Pole has few area for smokers, which I'm not one of. There's the 'Summer Camp Smokers Lounge' and under the Dome is the 'Black Box'. The original design of the new station had a smoking lounge, but the powers that be decided it would be best if that didn't happen, probably for the best because who knew if the air system could properly filter it out. In any case, smokers are banished to heading outdoors to get their 'fix'.

However, the old gym was turned over as a haven for smokers. Individuals seized on the opportunity like ravaged animals starting with a 'painting party', running electrical conduits, etc. In the span of two weeks the bar is now a reality. It's amazing how fast people will accomplish something if they really want to. Some people were commenting that they never saw a project finish this quickly at the Pole before. In any case everyone is somewhat pleased that we now have a real social gathering place. There used to be a bar under the Dome called '90 South', but it was demo'd last year.

The evening started out mellow with three Polies playing and only a few individuals around. Eventually the place got going with more people trickling in. As Neal S. posted in his blog (, "almost every female resident of the south pole passed through (10/13 ain't bad)."

I headed out before 11 PM and stopped by the galley where some people were watching a movie. Then it was time for the shower to get the smoke off me. I was just getting ready for bed when Rob, the satellite tech called me and said there was something wrong with the network. The satellite connection was good, but there was no network link back to the U.S. He wished me well and said he was heading back downstairs to the party at the bar.

After looking at the problem a bit and calling White Sands, NM where the satellite signal terminates. I concluded the problem was back in the satellite tech's lap. I put on some clothes and walked back down into the bowels of the tunnels to the bar to drag Rob back. Four hours later the problem was resolved. The technicians at White Sands hadn't thrown the correct switch.


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