Ice departure and table tennis flurry

Hi Ping Pongers,

It started with an email from the former McMurdo recreation director, Mike who wrote me from Denver to keep an eye out for a new ping pong table being delivered from the cargo ship a few weeks ago. That led to a note from the current rec director that a crate was delivered behind the gym, and I was welcome to unpack and assemble it if I was so inclined. I gathered up some medical folks and made it our Saturday night project, since we were able to clear our social calendar. What we found as we stood out in the wind and sub-zero temperature was a hermetically sealed 670 lb. crate with over 100 screws holding it firmly together. Our salvation came from the helicopter hanger when a mechanic showed up with a fully charged cordless power drill and spent 30 minutes liberating not one, but two beautiful spanking new ping pong tables with nets ready for some serious playtime. We tested them out and I have returned a few times to route the remaining willing paddlers, but am happy to say I am leaving a champion on the island.

I got to do some final skiing on the glacier on a few inches of fresh snow yesterday with Paul, the flight nurse from Tennessee on his first outing on skis, and he was all smiles. Tomorrow the massive C-17 cargo plane is due to fly out with 70 souls and deposit us in New Zealand for a few days to re-enter the world of trees, grass, fruits, vegetables, dogs and children among other missed aspects of the modern world. It’s been another great adventure here, and now it’s on to meet Pat in Fiji for some beach and sun time. The presses are silent after the final Scallion was printed, much to the relief of the winter admin folks. Hope your blizzards are mild and spring is around the corner.

Cheers,

Ready to bask Bob

The 670 pound crate that finally yielded 2 ping pong tables

The 670 pound crate that finally yielded 2 ping pong tables

Reed, the winter PA and I test out the new table in the gym

Reed, the winter PA and I test out the new table in the gym

Weddell seals next to Scott Base basking on the ice

Weddell seals next to Scott Base basking on the ice

Fresh powder skiing on the Ross Ice Shelf

Fresh powder skiing on the Ross Ice Shelf

New Caterpillar tractors arrived for next year’s 1000 mile traverse to the South Pole

New Caterpillar tractors arrived for next year’s 1000 mile traverse to the South Pole