Mid-Winter at McMurdo

Antarctica's flag
Antarctica » Antarctica » McMurdo Station
June 18th 2005
Published: June 19th 2005
Edit Blog Post

Here are some recent photos from the 50th Winter Over at McMurdo.

Additional photos below
Photos: 21, Displayed: 21


Mid-Winter Dinner MenuMid-Winter Dinner Menu
Mid-Winter Dinner Menu

Here is the menu for our Mid-Winter Dinner. We held a dinner on Saturday night, a few days before the actual mid winter day. As you can see, we are not lacking for food.
Sirius over Ob HillSirius over Ob Hill
Sirius over Ob Hill

The Dog Star above Observation Hill. The lights from town illuminate the right hand side of the hill. The moon illuminates the others. I duct-taped hand and toe warmers to my camera to ensure it would work... the temperature was -30F, but quite pleasant as there was no wind.
The moon over McMurdoThe moon over McMurdo
The moon over McMurdo

A shot from Hut Point looking back over town in midday.

A view of town from the slopes of Ob Hill. The photo is taken midday. There is just a little light visible at the skyline to the north.
Hydrant testingHydrant testing
Hydrant testing

Testing a fire hydrant at -20F created a nice cloud of fog that lingered for a while over town.
Beeker St.Beeker St.
Beeker St.

Scientists are affectionately (and sometime not so affectionately) referred to as "beekers." Shown is the street sign in from of Crary Lab.
LDB Construction SiteLDB Construction Site
LDB Construction Site

Work continues on a new suite of buildings for NASA's Long Distance Balloon (LDP) program. A couple weeks ago, temperatures here reached -68F, WITHOUT wind-chill. The site is directly on the Ross Ice Shelf and cold dense air flows there, whereas town, which is only a few 10's of feet higher, is often much warmer.

Building 157 is the cold storage for the Retail Store. It has a reputation as being one of the coldest buildings on station. It has no heat and no insulation.
Building 121Building 121
Building 121

Building 121 is the beer are soda warehouse. Unlike many buildings at McMurdo, it has a lock on the door.
Cosmic BowlingCosmic Bowling
Cosmic Bowling

An array of black lights and stobe lights are the signature features of Cosmic Bowling. For people who find warped lanes to be of insufficient challenge, Cosmic Bowling offers a bit of added challenge. The two lane alley has manual pinsetters. Behind (and above) the pins are two people who manually pick up the fallen pins and reload the pinsetting manchine. They may also heckle bowlers, but are mindful of tips that are customary for providing good service.
Bingo ClownsBingo Clowns
Bingo Clowns

Bingo is big entertainment here. Bingo callers ususally get dressed up in costume. In this case, two bad clowns.
Another bingo callerAnother bingo caller
Another bingo caller

Or in this case, a fat Elvis bingo caller. This bingo game was called "Junk Food Bingo" with all prizes except the final jackpot being a large selection of junk food. 10 people won the "blackout bingo" jackpot on the day of this photo and divided the jackpot. To keep things interesting and to confuse any tourist who might wander into town like a lost penguin, we have different requirements to win each game. In the final game of the eveing, the winner must have ever square of his/her card filled in, hence the name "Blackout Bingo".
Mid Winter Dinner set up Mid Winter Dinner set up
Mid Winter Dinner set up

We held our annual Mid Winter Dinner in the Galley. White linen table clothes, decorations and candles gave the Galley a nice atmosphere for the biggest event of the winter season. Joining us were all the members of the New Zealand base a couple miles down the road (except for the few who had to remain on fire watch.)
Mid Winter Food lineMid Winter Food line
Mid Winter Food line

Entrees were Bacon Wrapped Beef Tenderloin, Grilled Salmon and Pork Tenderloin and Filo Veggie Purses. Soda, beer, wine cocktails and a variety of deserts were also available.
Steam tableSteam table
Steam table

A photo of steam table where dinner was served.
Wine PosseWine Posse
Wine Posse

Guarding the wine supply against pengiun infiltrators.

Beef tenderloin, prepared to perfection and served by a manager.

A view of part of the lettuce crop used for the Mid Winter dinner.
Sorbet in an ice bowlSorbet in an ice bowl
Sorbet in an ice bowl

Serving sorbet in an ice bowl kept it frozen.

Dancing followed dinner. The music was mostly jump blues (my personal favorite), big band and few jazz standards.
More DancingMore Dancing
More Dancing

Another shot of the dance floor. After dancing ended most people went to either the Coffeehouse or Southern Exposure, two of the clubs here, until the wee hours of the morning.

Tot: 0.737s; Tpl: 0.018s; cc: 6; qc: 61; dbt: 0.0177s; 1; m:saturn w:www (; sld: 1; ; mem: 1.4mb