And an Antarctic New Year to All!

Happy New Year from Antarctica!   One of the most beloved traditions on McMurdo is the annual New Year’s Eve celebrations.   The Galley always cooks up a super starchy dinner (this year  it was pasta bar AND Baked potato bar AND  three kinds of cake).  I’ll let you guess their rationale.

Right after dinner the fun begins with  a chili cook off and Icestock- only the coolest music festival ever!

“Suck it Metallica”  seemed to be the theme of the evening.  Metallica- god bless them- came and played a concert  on King George Island, in the South Shetland Islands, this year.   Despite being north of 60 south, and never setting foot on continent  they claimed they gave an Antarctic Rock Concert.  Well the McMurdo rock scene could have let that slide  except,  Metallica went on to say that theirs was the first Antarctic Rock concert since a band from the British Antarctic Survey  played at Rothera in 2007- and everyone knows that doesn’t really count.  Ouch low blow Metallica!  McMurdo has been rocking out Icestock for 25 years and we have speakers (loud ones)






I have never had a New Years Eve quite like this.  I hope you all had wonderful times out there in the wide world.  Happy New Year to you!

What a great way to end my Antarctic trip,  I start the trek home tomorrow.

Environmental Protection Antarctica

I  love  “Team Enviro”.  They are a McMurdo based  work center whose sole job is to make sure that all US Antarctic Projects  (science and logistics) are in compliance with the various Treaties, laws and regulations  protecting the Antarctic Environment.    When I was in McMurdo in 2010,  they took me  trash collecting with them.  Who knew picking up garbage could be so fun?

Yesterday they asked if I wanted to come along for an Environmental audit  of   “Happy Camper”,  the location where basic snow camping/snow survival skills are taught.   During an audit, the enviro team looks to make sure that  best practices are being followed- for example are all fuel drums sound and in containment?  Is the trash getting sorted correctly?    I was thrilled to get asked…