Hi Bar-b fans,
To satisfy my cooking desires I marked off some time on my schedule last week to spend one morning in the galley at the LDB project site. (www.csbf.nasa.gov/antarctica/ice.htm) Three Long Duration Balloons have been launched this season carrying 5000-6000 pound payloads around the circular winds of the continent for a few weeks before being brought down and retrieved. The site is located about 5 miles from our little town, sitting across from the airport on a 300 foot thick glacier extending out over the ocean. As you can imagine it makes for an ideal bar-b-que setting, so I helped grill steaks in brilliant sunshine for the 18 or so folks that are still working there as the summer season is coming to a close.
Another field trip I arranged for our medical team involved visiting the LIDAR site on the outskirts of town in the area called Arrival Heights, which unlike imagined images of an upscale neighborhood is a squat green building sitting on a barren volcanic landscape that houses laser experiments shooting light up 80 kilometers (48 miles) in the sky to record conditions left from iron particles from passing meteors. It is an area with big warning signs that it is “OFF LIMITS” except for authorized personnel and reminds me of the “Forbidden Zone” in the old Planet of the Apes movies. I used to play a lot of ping pong with one of the research students, and was usually on the losing end so the head of the project remembers my humbleness and gave us a grand tour.
The big news in town is the arrival of the cargo ship, Ocean Giant, that is off loading all sorts of new supplies and equipment, including boxes of “freshies” that are getting stacked to the ceiling in the galley storage spaces. I scored a banana one day at lunch that was left on the table with the word “free” written on it to avoid any guilty feelings of absconding with someone else’s treasure.
Later in the week my ping pong contacts got us an invitation to Scott Base, the New Zealand station a few miles down the road, for dinner and some table tennis fun afterwards. The dental schedule here is packed but there was a request for me to return to the South Pole to do some cleanings, so I may have to load up some supplies and head back to the polar plateau next week. Otherwise I’m on the 2 ½ week countdown to meet Pat in Fiji where warm beaches and rum punch await us. Hope your winter grilling is not interrupted by a little snow or cold weather.
Medium rare Bob