Terry's Field Journal: The Antarctic dart games (c) Terry Trimingham July 29, 1995
The Friday night inter-station darts games have been one of the highlights of my winter season in McMurdo. We play darts at 0900Z, which happens to be in the evening for us. Due to the darkness and geomagnetic activities (aurorae), the radio propagation hasn't been very good. It took us until May to get organized and up on the air, but it has been wonderful to have voice contact with other people down here, even if we have to relay through other people. Many times all we can hear is the scratchy hum and blurts of the HF radio waves. Usually South Pole can hear Casey really well, Davis can hear Casey, and Scott Base can hear Casey, so with a little patience we get the scores across. Teams seem to vary in size depending on who is around, but we try to announce over the radio who has just thrown and now I am starting to recognize names.
The regular players are Scott Base, South Pole, Casey Station, and Davis Station. We have had a few guest appearances: once Mawson Station played (but the comms were so bad that most of it was over the telephone between Davis and Mawson, then Davis relayed) and once Mac Quarie Island played.
At Scott Base we designed a score sheet especially for these games. We play 501; it is pretty simple. You have to throw a double to get in the game, and then you just subtract your score from 501, but need a final double to go out at the end.
I have been keeping tally of all the darts games since the second game. We didn't have our score sheets at the first game; as a result that information was lost in the shuffle.
We have now played for 11 weeks, with 13 games. There have been a couple of evenings this month where the game finished quickly, and so we all decided to play a second game (but since the second games are just for fun, we aren't going to count them). I have included all the games thus far in my tally.
Game # Date Winner # Rounds Last throw
1 19 May South Pole 2 26 May Davis 11 d 16 3 02 June Casey 11 d 16 4 09 June Scott Base 11 d 14 5 16 June Casey 14 d 2 6 23 June Scott Base 16 d 3 7 30 June Casey 12 8, d8 8 07 July MacQuarie Is. 12 1, 10, d5 9 14 July Scott Base 8 1, d10 10 14 July South Pole 19 d 3 11 21 July South Pole 12 d 16 12 28 July Casey 9 d 16 13 28 July South Pole 11 d 6
As you can see, we are all pretty well matched and it has been close. Our shortest game was 8 rounds, the longest one 19 rounds. Most of the time the scores are really close, and overall the competition is hot!
Now for the official tally (not counting the second games played for fun):
Station Games won
Casey 4 Scott Base 3 South Pole 2 Davis 1 Mac Quarie Island 1
Copyright (c)1995 Terry Trimingham. This information may be redistributed online for education projects as long as this copyright notice is included. Permission to use this material in print or for commercial purposes must be obtained in writing prior to use from the author.