Dave and the kids have been discussing Scott's Hut and the reason for its location. In Dave's last letter to us before he began his trip home for Christmas he wrote:
I have some guesses, and was wondering what you and the kids think. They have a nice library with lots of Antarctica history books and research papers. I would like to read some of the books about the explorers when things quiet down this winter.
I am sending 3 more pictures.
B111101 is a picture of the one of the beds in the blown in Jamesway mentioned in a below letter.
M110403 is a picture of our antenna. It is hard to get back far enough, as it is in a big dome.
M110409 is one of the outside doors in the Crary Lab where I work. Gee, it looks like a freezer door in the supermarket.
If you had 18 degree temperatures, it sounds like it is warmer here. Please write back and tell me about your trip to Baltimore. I knew Ms. Weeg and some of the kids were going, but I want to know what happened, and if you had fun. It is fun to travel, but it is always good to get back home. I will hopefully be starting home Tuesday, which will be your Monday. If things go as scheduled, I will arrive in Salisbury Friday December 22 in the evening. You can ask me anything, so ask away.
I work for a ATSC, a company that contracts to NASA. I will be down here during the winter season, operating and maintaining a satellite tracking station. This is the same work I was doing when I was working at Wallops Island. We have a satellite dish in a big dome that looks like a big golf ball. We are down here now, doing some work on the system so it is in good shape for the winter season. We have computers that set up and operate the equipment. It is mostly automatic, be we will be very busy keeping things going. We will have to schedule the events into the computers, transfer the data back to the USA, and fix the equipment when it breaks.
Write back and tell me about your trip to Baltimore,
I really do not like seafood. I would say my favorite food is pizza. They have a good variety of food served here, but they have only had pizza once since I have been here. They usually have 2 meat selections and lots of vegetables. Tonight for supper they had the choice of BBQ ribs, or flounder. For veggies they had new potatoes, asparagus, mixed veggies, a vegetarian casserole, and macaroni. They also have a salad bar, but sometimes they run out of fresh vegetables.
When winter comes, they will not be able to get any fresh food here. That means no fresh milk, eggs, fruit, and all the other things you take for granted. They have a hydroponic greenhouse here, that I hear is used for fresh salad greens in the winter. Some things like soda, only come by ship. There is a big shortage of soda, and the machines around the base are empty. The only things in the store are iced tea, or diet Mountain Dew.
It is fun here, but it is also a lot of hard work. I worked from 8 yesterday morning until 10:30 last night. Today I worked from 8 this morning to 6:30 this evening. The buildings here are sturdy, and should keep me warm and safe. Some of the people in our group that are installing some equipment for us to transfer data from the satellites back to the USA. They had to travel by helicopter to Black Island about 20 miles away. They were staying in a jamesway, which is like a fancy tent. One night they had 120 mile per hour winds, and it ripped the tent. I am sending you a picture of one of the beds in the jamesway. You can see the snow covering things. I was supposed to go to a school today, so I could go there Monday. My plans changed, so I will not be going there now, maybe in January.
Moving is always a big change for everyone in the family. You are lucky coming from Salisbury, that you are close enough to visit you old friends or call them on the phone. Our family moved to Snow Hill from West Virginia in 1987. It was a big change for us.
Thanks for writing, Dave
I do not know the answer either, so everyone's ideas will be correct. The hut here is not the only one in the area. There are more here on Ross Island where McMurdo is located. This was a popular place with the early explorers. I guess we have to imagine we are explorers that want to go to the south pole. Where would we start and why?
Thanks for writing, Dave
If everything goes as planned, I will be leaving Tuesday the 19th for New Zealand. I will then get back into Salisbury on Friday evening. I am hoping all goes as planned. The is an air traffic controller strike in New Zealand that is causing delays. Also the weather is a big variable here, and flights can get changed. This is a bad time of year to try to change flight plans, so keep your fingers crossed. I will have to get some pictures to you over the next few weeks. I would also like to visit the school again while I am home.