Friday, November 24, 2006
Calls from Antarctica
Dad has been able to call us every few days on his satellite phone and he regrets that he is not able to add to his blog more often. He sounds great however there is a slight delay between our voices. The temperatures in Antarctica have been fluctuating almost everyday. A warm day would be 0 degrees F and a cold day would be -20 degrees F. Yesterday the temperature was a broiling 28 degrees F. All day around the camp everyone wore T-shirts because of the intense heat :) The average windspeed in Patriot Hills has been an incredible 40 miles per hour and Dad has had a hard time getting to sleep at night because of the noise.
Dad has also had many fun experiences such as a ride on a snow-mobile and many conversations with interesting people. He had drinks in the Canadian pilots' tent the other day, and was able to watch a tractor filled with 100 barrels of fuel begin its journey to the refueling station about halfway to the South Pole. It will be dropping off the fuel so that the planes traveling to drop people off at the South Pole can refuel on the trip back. Dad also says that the food is really good and the people there are very interesting. He has spoken with the Antarctic mountain climbing guides and they have told him about their experiences climbing Mt. Everest.
Dad's job is to keep track of all the people who are traveling to the South Pole and climbing Antarctica's highest mountain, Mt. Vinson. He has met all these people, some of whom will be walking for fifty-eight days to the South Pole in high winds for fun. He also has to keep track of the weekly plane flights from Chile shuttling supplies and expeditioners onto the continent. Sometimes he has had to stay up during the night and manage the plane flight because it was delayed and could not make the trip during the day. Fortunately it is allways light there so he has no trouble seeing.
One of the more difficult activities at the camp is showering. His showers consist of melting snow in a pot and pouring it over youself. then you soap off and pour a second pot of water over yourself. Not exactly the best way to shower, but it works.
Most importantly he is happy and he is doing something he never expected to do.
P.S. You are all welcome to send Dad an email but it must be short. two sentances max. No attachments or files. He can only recieve very small amounts of data. You can send the emails to firstname.lastname@example.org