South Pole News

Jim and I enjoying a few quiet moments next to an old Delta

Jim and I enjoying a few quiet moments next to an old Delta

55,000 year old ice at the Spice Core drill site

55,000 year old ice at the Spice Core drill site

 

Doc Sarah holding some glass clear ice at the Spice Core site

Doc Sarah holding some glass clear ice at the Spice Core site

 

Frozen C-130 at the South Pole and disabled plane in the upper left- note the line of people walking the runway looking for debris

Frozen C-130 at the South Pole and disabled plane in the upper left- note the line of people walking the runway looking for debris

Camping spot at the South Pole !

Camping spot at the South Pole !

 

Tourists pay $50,000 to fly to the South Pole for a photo op!

Tourists pay $50,000 to fly to the South Pole for a photo op!

 

Successful wisdom teeth patient wearing her teeth as earrings and a necklace

Successful wisdom teeth patient wearing her teeth as earrings and a necklace

 

The traverse team of tractors nears the South Pole station after 1000 mile run from McMurdo

The traverse team of tractors nears the South Pole station after 1000 mile run from McMurdo

New dental drills at the South Pole clinic

New dental drills at the South Pole clinic

Skiing outside the South Pole station to the geographic pole marker

Skiing outside the South Pole station to the geographic pole marker

Hola Icelovers,

              After only a day of delay, which is a shockingly low waiting period for  this place, I flew to the South Pole with a few friends to work on teeth for the  folks who can go nowhere but north.  Our C-130 skied to a landing and the plane  picked up about 30 folks who were heading out of there, but it soon returned  because of weather issues. Since all the rooms at the station were full they  became refuges on the gym floor for 5 days which was aptly renamed the  refugasium. The plane sat frozen through the night in 40 below wind chills and  was unfit to fly by morning, so it will be weeks before the seals can be  replaced and it can head back to McMurdo, so other planes have been making the 4  hour trip from McMurdo.

            Sarah the doc has been  filling my schedule with folks who are  planning to spend the 10 month winter season at the Pole, so I’ve been busy with  check-ups, cleanings and fixing a few chipped teeth. The one highlight was a  young lady who admitted   that she has been told in the past that her wisdom  teeth ought to go, but she said she didn’t have the funds to take care of that.  I countered that I could solve that objection, so after a few minutes of  contemplation, she said “let’s go for it!” The surgery went well, and when we  checked on her the next day she was presented with custom earings and a necklace  pendant  of   her  former choppers, which she proudly wore to  dinner that night.

          I’ve   fought off all ping pong challenges, won and lost a few games of  Scrabble,   and did a great 2 mile ski out to the ice core  project called Spice-Core as they reached 1 mile under the ice to pull up a 55 thousand year old sample that is as clear as glass. It looks like I’ll be here at least a few more days to train the winter doc and PA once they make it here next week, then head back to McMurdo for a few weeks of dental care before winter returns and I head out in mid-February.

Send  some news and don’t forget the sunscreen when you venture out in 24/7  sunshine.

Cheers,

       Pole dentist  Bob