Friday, September 28, 2012

End of Winfly

Winfly for 2012 is almost over - only three days until mainbody starts arriving and the population doubles in one day and triples in a few more. The small community of Winfly will go away and there will be lines in the galley for food, limited spaces at tables, vehicles driving on the road, strange faces... and for me a room-mate!  I somehow got lucky last month and got a room to myself.  So I sleep when I want, get up when I want, watch TV when I want, and don't have to worry about bothering a room-mate.  Oh, solitude how I will miss thee.

Over the past month my work center, Health and Safety, has gotten all our safety training accomplished. Training newly arriving employees here in Antarctica is new this year. Previously all training had been conducted in Denver before deployment but now people receive their training after they arrive in Antarctica. Its a different way to do things and has its problems and advantages.  We have to conduct more training sessions and that takes time, but the class sizes are smaller and that's better for learning.  Our winfly training was completed yesterday, so we now have three entire days until the mainbody arrives and we have to start all over with their training.

The biggest issue with training here in McMurdo is the lack of places to train people. Safety is not the only group training, so the battle for space is fierce. McMurdo, Antarctica is not exactly overrun with meeting rooms and that sometimes produces odd results.  My last training session was in the local bar, Gallaghers.  I used the large screen TV as my projection screen and my students sat around the tables.  Don't worry, it was during the day when the bar was closed.

I will be here another month until South Pole opens for the summer so there will be plenty to do between now and then.  Even some Occupational Health work - the reason I was sent here!  Of course the details of my work are confidential, but I feel comfortable saying it has been an interesting four weeks.

Temperature yesterday at McMurdo: -18F, windchill -68F
Temperature today: -6F, no wind.

Temperature at South Pole: -67F, windchill -106F


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