Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Inside the base

Robert Scott's 1912 journal entry upon reaching the Pole was "Great God! This is an awful place".  I'm not quite sure what he was expecting.  However, if he had just waited a century, he would have found a very accommodating dormitory that feels almost like a ski-lodge.

My room is pretty spartan and small, about the size of our bathroom back in California.  It reminds me of my office at Caltech- no windows!

Science Lab
For those who don't want/need to schlep all the way to their experiments on a given day, there's a spacious general use lab where each project has some space.

The Galley serves 3 hot meals a day.  The cooking is pretty good, although I already miss fresh fruits and vegetables.  I brought a rapidly dwindling supply of avocados from Christchurch, which has made making friends at dinner easy.  If only I'd brought some arugula or kale…
The Galley

They used to have fresh vegetables grown in the green house, but due to cost cutting measures implemented by the new contractor (Lockhead), the green house is currently not producing anything:

There are a number of recreation rooms, a general store that sells snacks and alcohol (only open 1 hour a day) and a gym complete with Basketball Court.  There's even a sauna.  Ladies and Gentlemen, your tax dollars at work!

Gym on balcony over Basketball court

I took some videos while walking around this place in the middle of the "night," but bandwidth limitations prevent me from sending those up.  Fortunately, our esteemed colleague from South Pole Telescope, Tom Crawford, has uploaded a similar video:

All in all, it's pretty nice digs- it's a shame we're working too hard to enjoy it much.  But no one should think that I'm "roughing it" down here!

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