Edit Blog Post
Published: December 17th 2007
Just so you all know, it is NOT all work and no play here in McMurdo, Antarctica. Please view these photos of various recreation activities that are available here.
Although daylight never ceases during an Antarctic summer, finding the time to take advantage of what McMurdo has to offer can be a challenge. People have crawled on their stomach through an ice tunnel to enter a spectacular ice cave on a tour offered by the Morale, Welfare and Recreation office. In addition to such organized trips, MWR also offers recreation equipment such as golf clubs, mountain bikes, and fly rods and waders.
Other forms of entertainment unique to McMurdo include tours of the icebreaker ship when it rolls into town toward the end of each summer, Nordic skiing on frozen ice, tours of the McCrary Lab to see world-class scientific research underway, and opportunities to serve as volunteers at remote research sites. And for those with a more competitive nature, McMurdo offers events such as the Undie 500, a 500-meter sprint around nearby Scott Base garbed in underwear, the Antarctic golf driving competition at the Ice Wharf, or the USA vs. Kiwi rugby game which took place at Scott Base
For those more inclined for indoor activities, they can find ballet, tai chi, bowling, yoga, belly dancing, self defense and salsa lessons. And as advertised in the base's newspaper, Antarctic Sun. if you wander into the dining hall at 8:15 p.m., it's not uncommon to find lectures being presented on topics such as the "studies on the evolution and life habits of giant, bloodthirsty, single-celled organisms called 'foraminifera.'" Far less serious entertainment is found at the Coffee House, an old Quonset hut transformed into a cozy bar. It sometimes serves as a setting for the tractor club, in which McMurdo residents share tractor stories and bestow creative honorary tractor names upon new recruits.
And if you're lucky, you just might finagle a flight on an LC-130 to the South Pole and walk around the world in three seconds by stepping around the ceremonial marker designating the South Pole.
With the proper supplies, the McMurdo greenhouse functions like any other greenhouse. The main difference is that this greenhouse is enclosed totally by insulated walls, while most greenhouses in the states are made of glass. There are electric heaters and a furnace to heat the rooms at
night, and daytime temperatures are maintained through the combination of heat from the HPS and MH lamps and various intake, outtake, and circulating fans. Each variety of plant grows in its own returnable system. For example, there is a tomato system, a pepper system, two herb systems, two stacked greens/lettuce systems, and three cucumber systems. Each system contains its own reservoir, pump, aerator, water heater, and PVC troughs and tubing. A three-part liquid nutrient, and pH adjusters, which are administered by hand after a daily meter reading. One greenhouse technician takes care of everything!
The greenhouse at McMurdo Station was built during the 1988-89 summer season by volunteer labor. It was expanded in 1996 to its current size of 649 square feet and can generate a monthly average of 275 lbs of produce. Varieties include lettuce greens, spinach, arugula, chard, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, sprouts, and herbs. The harvest is ample enough to provide a winter community of up to 230 people a salad once every 4 days, plus lots of fresh herbs, veggies, and fruit for the galley chefs to incorporate into their menus. During summer, however, community population can reach numbers of over 1000 people. During this time,
the greenhouse simply acts as a supplement to the fresh food flown into the base from New Zealand.
Tot: 0.132s; Tpl: 0.019s; cc: 12; qc: 83; dbt: 0.0287s; 1; m:saturn w:www (188.8.131.52); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb