Sunday, January 01, 2006

New Years 2006

Last night was new years. We celebrate on New Zealand time which is the earliest time zone in the world. So we got a sneak peak. There were 3 bands and lots of drinking. Afterall, you can celbreate New Year's even in all timezones for 24 hours straight here. I had a beer - my second on 'the Ice'. It was also shabbos which I have been observing here. Many people have asked about how one observes Shabbos in Antarctica. For some information you can check out:

The rules work just fine at the south pole too! After the party, I read until 3am and fell asleep.
I am going to speak [not sleep] soon at the Pole's Sunday Science Lecture - the first of the year.

However, at the moment I am exhausted. Denis, Yuki, Jamie, and I decided to take a hike out to an old LC130 cargo plane that crashed here in 1980something. It is really far off the base, about 3 miles. The first half was easy. Then we finished walking down the runway = what made it easy it turned into what's called a 'snow swamp'. It was unbelievably hard! We had to wear all our survival gear and boy am I luck I did. It was really cold and of course we are on 2 miles of ice so at times I was panting... Then we got to the plane. It was very eerie like a ghost ship but fun - see photos at:

Luckily when it crashed no one was hurt. Amazing since it broke in half and turned all over. Right now it's facing away from the base although it was landing when it crashed. As pilots say 'any landing you can walk away from is a success'. Still I hope my 'retrograde' back to Mc Murdo is less eventful! We stayed for about 10 minutes then came back, hoping to catch the yearly tradition of moving of the geographic south pole which, due to the ice's 10 meter drift per year, needs to be recalculated. Apparently it's a big ceremony. If I can recover I will go and then get ready to give my talk. Then I have to pack up - I'm shipping out tomorrow!


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