Antarctica Dispatch

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



It's a tradition since the beginning of Antarctic exploration that a Mid-Winter celebration is held. Since June 21, is in the middle of the week, we celebrated on Friday and got another two-day weekend! As most people did, as soon as work was over, I used my precious shower allotment and dressed in semi-formal attire. The Galley crew went all out serving us a five-star meal, see the menu below.

People helped in various other ways, setting up, serving, pouring wine (me), and then clean-up. As a wine pourer, whenever someone toasted we were obligated to participate. Needless to say the toasting can get quite excessive! We went through 13 bottles of wine. I'm sure we would have gone through another 13, but many brought their own 'poison'. The food was so beautifully presented people went around taking pictures of it, which reminded me of my Dad.

Afterwards there was dancing, with many of the male personnel trying to get dances from the few females on station. A few of us (myslef included) brought out 'top shelf' whiskey we'd saved, and savored the smooth, delightful Irish & Single-malt Scotch until the wee hours of the morning. What a harsh continent!

South Pole






With a Jack Daniels infused fruit chutney


Sweet corn cake and lemon butter



Shrimp and scallops simmered in a saffron-tomato broth


With Basil vinaigrette,

roasted red peppers, blue cheese and spiced walnuts



Stuffed with sun-dried tomatoes and goat cheese

accompanied by a button mushroom Marsala sauce


With tarragon beurre blanc (white butter sauce)


Wrapped in shiitake mushroom duxelle and puff pastry


Special Requests

All Entrees served with Garlic-chive mashed potatoes or Wild rice pilaf

And Green beans Almandine or Steamed broccoliast!


Mike Hole’s Kiwi Vanilla Custard Squares

Dark Chocolate Decadence

…and a glass of champagne to toast!

Party at the Bottom of the World


A few weeks ago I sent an email to Radio Margaritaville to say ‘Hi’ from the ‘Party at the Bottom of the World’. That email slowly made its way up through the various channels until someone contacted me, and said Jimmy Buffett wanted a brief video. Since Jimmy’s concert tour and new song is titled “Party at the End of the World”, it kinda makes us unique. Together with Craig (fellow Parrothead) we made a short video of everyone saying ‘Hi’ to Jimmy and sent it on its way.

After the satellite came up, I clicked on Radio Margaritaville. They were broadcasting his Cincinnati, OH concert. The next thing I heard left me speechless. He mentioned the South Pole, that we had a bar down there, and then he launched the video. So I guess I can say I was on stage with Jimmy!

Cinco de Montho


I’ve slowly updated my blog. I almost let the whole month of May go by. My compatriots Neal & Patrick are almost religious in keeping theirs up. Of course the rumor is Patrick’s trying to woo a blogger who’s commented on his site, which is why he’s keeping fresh material up. You might want to check their sites out for some humor. Also you’ll note that Neal has quite a fan club, so if you’re reading this blog, please leave a comment here or two so I know it’s getting read

It's about 5 months until the first plane arrives, so somehow we've got to keep our eggs persevered else I guess we'd be having powdered ones. I never heard about 'oiling' eggs to preserve them, but that's what we all did tonight. The galley bought 'cervezas' and we went through cases of eggs, oiling them to seal them and rotating them to keep them from compacting on one side. Supposedly it's great fun, but I think the beers brought everyone in. Then the comrade spirit kicked in.

Where did the weekend go?


This weekend was one of our rare two day weekends. We get the first weekend of every month, and we’ve got only three of them left. We’re approaching mid-Winter (June 21), and the half-way point of my tour here has come and gone. Here’s a group picture of the 2006 South Pole Winter-Overs, minus a few people.

We’ll the weekend started off with a jaunt down to the Dodgy Bastards Bar, where yours truly joined in the musical ensemble to ‘Changes in Latitude’, then a game of Twister ensued. I think the next time I participate there better be an equal male/female ratio.

After sleeping in on Saturday, which felt wonderful, I had to get a switch setup for ‘Frag Fest’ which was an all out computer gaming festival – Quake 4, Doom 3, Medal of Honor, Civilization 4, Rome, etc. I sat down and started playing Quake 4 around 2 PM, and the addict I am, I played until I finished – 12 hours later. Arghhhh! That’s why I don’t buy any games or own a Xbox or Playstation.

Memorial Day – South Pole Style


Ah Memorial Day……Time to get out the grill, run the Boulder Bolder, or head out to the Mountains to commune with Nature. Back home it was a rite of passage into summer when pools would open, and poeple would pack the highways trying to get out of the city. Wait a minute; I’m at the South Pole. I don’t have Monday off like the rest of the U.S.

I guess we celebrated Memorial Day yesterday. OK we didn’t hold service or reflect on those who paid the ultimate sacrifice. We got up, had a leisurely brunch thanks to our esteemed Michael Rehm who's trademark is the "Biggest Breakfast in Antactica". We then had a giant blowout sale of store items. Many people loaded up on T-shirts and items for others back home. Later I went and watched Antarctica videos from the library and played Playstation. I'm getting addicted to this thing, especially a game called 'Soul Caliber' whom two other people on station love to play. However my relaxation was interrupted when I was urgently called to the kitchen to perform surgury. OK, they needed me to filet fish for 'Sushi Night'.

Yes, it's a harsh continent down here!