Sunday, August 22, 2010

First Day Off

Here at McMurdo Station, the work week is six days long, one of the less exciting aspects of life here. But that means that Sundays are EXTRA special! So, I've spent most of my Sunday afternoon in the coffee shop here on station. When I ordered my first coffee, I learned to my ecstatic surprise that drinks are FREE!! I guess they're included in the food budget, so I'm very happy about that. :-D It also means I'll be leaving extra big tips for the baristas. :) Other than drinking lots of coffee and hot chocolate, I've been reading, writing, and chatting with people here. After spending the last week on my feet cleaning dorms and workstations, it feels FANTASTIC to just sit and sit and sit. :) It's the opposite of how it used to be when I worked an administrative position at CU; I would spend most of the day sitting and couldn't stand sitting still during the weekends. In any case, I like the coffee house a lot, and I imagine I'll be spending lots of time here.

Yesterday, I attended the Outdoor Safety Lecture, which is mandatory for all people who want to go on hikes in the area. I was very happy to learn that there are several hiking trails, including one that goes out to this formation called Castle Rock and a couple that go out onto the sea ice. The station has skis for rent, so I plan to do my first cross-country skiing here sometime soon. I probably won't hike for the next month or so because the sun's barely up and it's still very cold. Once the sun has risen more, it will be a bit warmer for hiking and probably a lot less energy-consuming. I'm amazed at how much energy I spend staying warm just walking from building to building. I'm seldom outside for more than three or four minutes at a time, but after doing that a few times a day, my energy levels are really low at night. I'm sleeping very well. :)

Today I learned that there's a rock-climbing wall on station!! Had I known that in advance, I would have brought my climbing shoes, harness, and helmet with me. Fortunately, I can rent all that stuff here. I got certified to climb the indoor wall this afternoon. Essentially I had to demonstrate that I knew all the climbing commands and had to show that I could safely belay another climber. Right now, the climbing gym is pretty cold so I'll probably wait a bit before doing much climbing, but I'm happy to know that it's here. :)

It's dinner time, so I'm gonna go eat and then probably spend the rest of my evening in the dorm relaxing, maybe playing games with some friends. Happy Saturday night to everyone! :)


  1. Still no pictures! I wanna see how crazy desolate the station looks! : ) Glad to hear you're having a good time, hope it warms up soon.

  2. So wild that you are there! Can't wait to see what happens. Tyler

  3. I agree with Alan. It's your first day off, where are the pictures? :)

    On the other hand, I'm finding it surprising how much there is to do there during your off time. I assume there's not a lot of "normal" television down there. Do you guys do a lot of Hulu, etc?

  4. Jealous.

    You're missing some fun adventures in Boulder though, the one today would have had you cracking up!

  5. If you have time I would like to hear more about the content of the "Outdoor Safety Lecture".

  6. Joseph, you might want to check out a neat TED talk I found yesterday, it's about looking back in time using the ice in Antarctica: