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Stauchy Blog » Blog Archive » There’s Been an Off-Deck - Sun Oct 14, 2007

There’s Been an Off-Deck - Sun Oct 14, 2007

“Attention South Pole, there’s been an off-deck.”  Words that hadn’t been heard for about 8 months.  We’d been tracking the progress of the Ken Boreck Air Basler and Twin Otter as they made their way down from Canada, through North and South America down to Punta Arenas, Chile (they couldn’t make the long flight over the pacific).  From there, they flew to Rothera (an English base on the opposite side of the continent from MacTown).  They then headed through Pole in order to refuel on their way to MacTown, where the Basler would pick up our highly anticipated first load of incoming Polies.  They’d been in Rothera for a couple of days due to weather, so we were all pretty happy to hear the announcement that they were in-bound.

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I was out at ARO with Neal and Emrys when we got the call that the Basler was 30 minutes out.  So, we decided to walk towards the runway in hopes that it would land on our side, which it didn’t.  We walked back to the station, and I walked in just in time to greet one of the pilots, who was on his way back to take off.  A very quick stop for them.

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(last picture courtesy of Neal Scheibe)

I stopped by the lab to take off my gear, then headed towards the galley because there was a rumor that some freshies had come in with the Basler.  Sure enough, when I stepped out of the lab, I could actually smell the oranges from the galley (over 100 yards away, and around a couple of corners).  We had always heard that our sense of smell would be really sensitive after a year on the ice, but that was the first realization of this fact.

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The twin otter arrived about an hour later, and they decided to stay the night because their flights were considerably longer than the Basler flights.  They ended up staying for a couple of days because of weather.  We hung out with them for one dinner, and it was nice to be able to talk to some new folks after spending 8 months with the same 54 people.

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While we were out on the flight-deck, me taking pictures and Lynette playing fuelie, Lynette said, “Wow… the winter is over.”

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-JRS

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