Sunday, January 23, 2011

2011 Pole Marker

Every year the winter-overs get to design and build the next season's Geographic South Pole marker. The marker design is kept secret until it is unveiled and installed on January 1, when the previous year's marker is retired and moved inside the South Pole Station. Below is the marker that was designed during our winter.  This was a very special marker since 2011 marks the 100th anniversary of Roald Amundsen first reaching the Pole in 1911.

From the Antarctic Sun, January 3, 2011:
The new bronze marker is in the shape of a sextant, an instrument used for navigation in the Age of Exploration. There are 47 individual degree marks on both sides at the bottom of the marker, representing the number of people who wintered at the South Pole in 2010.
In addition, a free-spinning “medallion” sits in between the angled arms of the bronzed sextant, which rests on a pedestal that displays the names of Amundsen's crew. On one engraved side is a well-known image of Amundsen and three other men admiring a tent flying the Norwegian flag at the South Pole. On the other is an engraving of the modern South Pole Station.
Winter-over machinist Derek Aboltins fabricated the 2011 marker based on the design by fellow winter-over David Holmes.
 Photo credit Robert Schwarz.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Safety Award Patch

For the first time ever the winter-over crew this year had a perfect safety record with no lost-time accidents.  There were a few first aids, but those don't really count as occupational injuries.  This was quite a feat and everyone who was at Pole this winter should be proud of that record.  To commemorate the achievement we designed a patch and Raytheon Polar Services Company had one made for each Polie and had them hand-carried to the Pole on the first plane in.  Thanks Raytheon.  We handed one out to every winter-over at the awards ceremony at the end of the winter.

Commemorated on the patch was the coldest temperature of the winter (-104F); the number of safe consecutive days (274); and the number of winter-over Polies (47).