Sunday, August 26, 2007

Antarctic winter - the end begins

Two weeks ago we started to have sun-up at some coastal Antarctic stations, an event which led to a few posts from Antarctic bloggers summarized in my first and second blog post reviews (you can find the original posts here and here and here).

This week, posting has been rather slow, something I ascribe to the preparations for the end of isolation at the bases. In fact, this week both Scott and McMurdo base have been visited by their first flights of the season. This is an occasion for celebration after 6 months of darkness and isolation.

From the 70South article on Scott Base, it seems fresh food is top of the agenda:

Finally, the six months of isolation have come to an end for the 20 staff who are stationed at New Zealand's Scott Base. After such a long time, the supply of fresh fruit and vegetables have long since been consumed.

However, they will still have to be patient a little bit longer as fruit and vegetables are not due to arrive till Friday. When asked to fill out a wish list, the requests were very varied, from raw carrots to crumpets or melons

At McMurdo too, food and external human contact are top of the agenda, according to 70South.

The scientists and other personnel from the American McMurdo Station have been longing for this. Finally, after five and a half months of isolation during the Antarctic winter, the first plane flew in with fresh supplies and passengers.


“We bring people down that will begin construction on what is called the annual sea ice runway,” Lt. Col. Jim McGann, 304th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron commander, said in the release.

With all this ado, it is not surprising that writing blog posts is not really the highest priority out there right now. I hope to be able to report about our intrepid bloggers' reactions soon. In the meantime, thoughts and best wishes to all of them, be they out of isolation or still waiting for that first human contact to end the long winter.

Keep up to date with the latest developments at

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