Katy's South Pole Journal 26 July, 1995

This is the week of birthdays at the South Pole. For some reason, out of 28 People, six have their birthdays this month (four this week: two of them were yesterday!). Bizarre.

Last Saturday we had celebrated the fact that there are fewer than one hundred days until next year's crew arrives. Granted, that's still 1/4 of our tour, and there are still two months until sunrise, but somehow 99 days doesn't sound like much.

Which results in mixed emotions. For the most part, we're having a great time here and it has been a very successful year. But we are starting to get cravings for stuff like trees, sunshine, flowing water, and loved ones... :) People are starting to make vacation plans for the trip home. They're also starting to panic about all of things that have to be done before Opening. So the party was a combination of celebration for things accomplished and preparation for the things to come.

The Dome Brewing Association provided the black & tans and the cider, and Andru provided the music, which we had to keep at conversation-level because the poker players had "dibs" on the bar. Whenever Andru tried to raise the volume for dancing, the cardsharks lit up cigars: a game that kept us amused most of the evening. I brought some modeling clay, so we rolled it and mashed it and smushed it into fantastic shapes while discussing New Zealand treks and where to go SCUBA diving in Australia.

Somehow I ended up duct-taped to a barstool.

Other news: our darts team won, for the second week in a row, on Friday night. We play against the crews at Scott Base, Casey Station, Davis Station, and Mawson Station by relaying our scores over the radio. The best part is trying to decipher each others' accents through the static.

Today there's a blustery 18 knot "breeze" keeping things chilly, but we launched an ozonesonde anyway, and it looks like the ozone layer is still healthy. Soon, I will witness the formation of the annual "ozone hole", and I'll tell you how you can view our data.

Enough for now, more soon: Katy McNitt Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station