Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year's Eve Day and New Year's Day

Yesterday I awoke to a bleak day—all white with no sun. We had record highs and the wind was blowing like crazy as Jens and I hooked up our DOMs in the tent. But we managed to get them hooked up and our tests have been run over the holiday—we’re really far ahead now, which is good because I’m worried about the new DOM-tester who is coming. (Since the weather’s been strange I’m afraid he’ll get delayed and we won’t overlap, so I’ve spent a lot of time writing up a really detailed document for him in case that happens).

But that is all in the background: yesterday was New Year’s Eve! The station has a party which is apparently very cool, BUT I didn’t bother to attend. What? But…not attend the New Year’s Party? Am I crazy? No. Absolutely not. Wait until you hear this: IceCube has our own party out at our drill camp—very exclusive, hoity-toity, all that jazz. What makes it so cool? Ha ha….the hot tub. Or rather, the hot pool. Yep, that’s right. You know how I told you we use hot water to drill into the ice? Well, since we’re running ahead of schedule there was time to dig out a large area of snow, double line it with tarps and fill it with hot water. They even wrote an algorithm to stabilize the temperature (since last year someone was badly burned). We had everything—hot pool, slide, changing rooms, pool signs, alcohol, palm trees, floating cup holders, an ice bar: literally everything! Sadly I’m not supposed to show photos, but I’ll show the very innocent “before” shots so you get the idea. The pool opened at 7:30 PM and I was there until about 4:30 AM, which was about the end. Yep, that’s right, I spent 9 hours in a hot tub at the South Pole on New Year’s Eve…you should have seen how wrinkly my hands were!

Today on New Year’s Day there was the annual moving of the official pole marker—they move it because the ice shifts every year and they want the marker to match the actual position of the geographic South Pole. I hear this is pretty cool and interesting but unfortunately I missed it. I have to say, though, I think my excuse was worth it! How cool is that? A record-high of 0 degrees F—the perfect temperature for a pool party! Awesome.


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