I am a McMurdo 10! ?

Trip Start Feb 09, 2013
Trip End Oct 05, 2013

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Flag of Antarctica  , Ross Island,
Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Pre-note:  Don't judge me to bad for the numerous grammar and word choice errors please.  We have been working crazy hours for the past 6 days with a medical evacuation.  With that in mind enjoy and would love to hear about your life too.

 I am trying to do better about taking pictures. Here are my random photos from over the past 
couple of weeks.  We eat in a place called the Galley.  Galley is an old navy term from back 
when the navy ran McMurdo Station originally.  Most buildings and things are all just acronyms 
which is from the stations military influence.  Which is really confusing when one first gets here. 
Though I now realize that no one will understand me when I get home with things like "The BFC 
is meeting in the EMC for survival 101."  The NSF (National Science Foundation) which now runs 
the station, has tried multiple times to get away from all the military terms and acronyms, but the 
station is just stuck in so much tradition the new "non-military" terms never stick.  The food here is wonderful!  Especially for all the food we will be eating has been here still February (most much longer than that).  We have king crab legs or lobster tails about once every other week. Our pastry chef must be on a personal vendetta to make me double my weight this winter with his chocolate delights and breads.  Though as always my personally favorite thing is just toast.  I love this rolling toaster we have, though you have to keep a close eye on it because it catches about 15 pieces of bread a day on fire, which is the vain of the kitchen staffs' existence.  

So a big social hangout here in McMurdo is Gallager's, the local bar.  Yes, we also have the "non-local" bar at Scott Base, the New Zealand Station.  People go to Gallager's to drink, not drink, burger bar (made to order hamburgers twice a week!), trivia nights, dance parties, etc.  It is well place right next to the medical clinic too!  One night I made my way there about 9:30 and walked in through the door and heard my name from three different directions but not to me, but about me.  Great!  Once I got down to a normal amount of layers for being inside and made my way to the bar counter 3 guys all jumped up and offered me there sits.  And before I sit down in one the bar tender (the only other female in the bar at this point mind you) ask what do you want to drink, so and so just bought you one.  Wow, OK.  Unfortunately for me my choice in free seats placed me right next to the very drunk 25 year old boy who just broke up over the phone with his girlfriend of 4 years back at home 2 hours prior and was super excited to turn around in his chair and find that Craig had turned into a girl (me).  How in the world should someone take the following comment from this very smashed kid “You are a McMurdo 10!”  What?  Is the McMurdo scale higher? Lower?  Yes, there are only 34 ladies on station, but what. I guess you are trying to compliment me, but why McMurdo 10?  I think I could have just skipped past it but the guy just kept repeating it over and over with the occasional “I am single” thrown in for some variety.  Best yet he kept leaning in way close like he could not hear me respond.  Which could be part I did not respond half the time, but would like it noted that I could hear him just find leaning way far back in my chair from him in the loud bar. The joys of being a woman in McMurdo J  The saying here is “The odds are good, but the goods are odd in McMurdo.” 

 One of my highlights of last week as getting to make and eat real ice cream with liquid nitrogen.  First, real creamy ice cream.  Second, freakin’ liquid nitrogen.   Faye, Melanie, and I got a tour of Crary Labs.  This is the main building where all the scientist have their offices and laboratories.  We all have one scientist on station right now.  I guess most reasonable people don’t want to have to be stuck here over the winter season.  Crary labs also has a lab tech currently that babysits about 15 scientist lab experiments over the winter and a lab manager who does something I am sure.  But to conclude our tour we went and collected some liquid nitrogen from the container and slowly poured it over cream, powdered whole milk, sugar, and vanilla.  Soooo Good!  We had 15 year old butterfingers crumbles for toppings too.  The only other ice cream like thing we have here is Frosty Boy which is a soft serve machine which I am pretty sure there is no real food product actually placed in it.  I guess also Scott Base has real ice cream in there kitchen freezer which if and when you are there is amazing.  I get to go and spend Thursdays at Scott Base see PT patients there and then staying for supper, which equals getting ice cream.  There are only 14 people wintering-over at that station so the food prepared by Damien their chef is REALLY nice and they still have freshies (fresh fruit and veggies) there.  It is just nice to get away from McMurdo (yes, only 2 miles away) but it is different. 

I have finally gotten back into a working out routine here.  I have joined a group that puts on the Insanity videos right after work in the fitness room.  Of course my first day to join them was the first day that it bumped up to a super harder level.  I tried my best that first day to do everything the incredibly fit and sweaty man on the TV yelled at me to do.  Now I just laugh at the crazy circuits of calisthenics to demands we do and modified it to what my poor little out of shape body can manage.  Though I did super fun to have others to work out with.  We also have a cardio gym here which I enjoy.  I can’t believe that up to about a week ago some people we run outside.  Are they crazy.  It is -35 degree wind chill, plus the wind is doing its best to knock you over most days, ICE, elevation with hills.  No, no, no.  I stick to the treadmill with no elevation.  We also have someone down here in IT that teaches a Yoga class twice a week.  The motivating factor being there is no place to go and buy pants in a bigger size down here.

Enjoy the pictures and I will try my best to write more regularly.   


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Jeff Avenmarg on

Love all the pics. It sounds like you're adjusting well. I bet it will be a challenge not to gain a 100 lbs.! Vineyard has recently gone to two services and seems to be growing. I have been playing keyboard with one of the praise teams. Kind of fun...

Still jealous...

Kim Townsend on

Good food, a bar scene, homemade ice cream, yoga... sounds like you're adjusting to Antarctic life just fine! :-) Keep the photos and posts coming! You are missed!

Louise Burkey - North Carolina on

Am truly enjoying your adventures (thru Martha). I especially liked the
Antarctica flowers and the Easter beers.
I know that you are having the adventure of a lifetime, Enjoy!

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