Wind Chill: -56.4C
Wind Speed: 7.9 kts
We have had a lot of people leave over the last week and a half.
Last week, we hit under 200 population here for the first time all season! A lot of really fun people left, and good friends, too! The bad news is that they are gone now, but the good news is we will probably see a lot of them again next summer!
The first to leave were the Ice Cube Drillers...some of them were people that I had met before,
but a couple were folks that I met once I got down here...like the Swedish Bikini Team!
Some of the time a group of us would go out to say goodbye to a lot of people
and sometimes a group of us would say goodbye to one person.
In about a week, only Cully and Robert, in the tan jacket, will be left...Flint was who we were saying goodbye to (to the left of Cully), Sheri left today (far left) and Paul leaves later this week. The plan is to line 'em up,
load 'em up
and take off
Hopefully, we will see a lot of those people in about eight months! In the mean time, Cully and I threw an Open House out at ARO for whoever wanted to see the place, what we do, just come and hang out for a couple hours. We had a really good turnout, too.
Quite a few people showed up, ran through a great majority of our drinks and food, went on a couple of tours of the building, and generally had a good time! The turnout was better than I could have hoped for. It was a pretty fun night.
I had also let it slip to a few people there that I had recently gotten promoted, about the middle of January, and one of those people was our winter over site manager Logan, who is sitting down in the back corner of this picture...and yes, Kevin is really standing in front of an open window in Antarctica! There was no other window open, so no cross breeze...all good! Kevin, Bill (standing with the bottle) and John, seated in the front of the picture, are all siding carpenters so they have the coldest job on station. I spent the day under the station with their crew during my R&R and it was a lot of fun, but boy was it cold! John was actually our bouncer for the night, but he was pretty bored, with all the scientist-types around!
Logan hauled me out in the middle of the room about halfway through the night, turned down the music, and made sure that everyone at the party realized that I had gotten promoted, which I was not expecting but was really cool! But he even went one better than that. The following morning, I went into the galley for brunch, and a couple people, who had not been out to ARO, came up to me and congratulated me on my promotion as well. When I went over to a table to talk to some of my friends, they started singing "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow"! I was questioning my sanity when I glanced up at the TV monitors in the galley that scroll through daily weather, safety announcements and flight schedules. At the bottom of the flight schedule screen was an announcement that I had gotten promoted, so he made sure everyone that was on station knew about it. People are still congratulating me! It was off the screen when I had my camera again, but this basically paraphrased what everyone else got to see.
The last week has been pretty interesting. The winter overs are anxious to get the winter started, and I am too for that matter. We are all looking forward to the station being at a population of 45 instead of 270, which is where it has been for the last three months. On the other hand, we have been around the summer crew for that long, every day. It will be, and has been, bittersweet on the flightline, watching friends take off. The station has a lot more people to lose, and by Sunday, we will have watched our last flight take off. Looking forward to station closing, and the winter over screening of "The Thing"!!!!!