Handshakes and hugs are back in style

4 Adelie penguins on the ice near the base

Hi social distancers,
        No Covid here, so the base went Level Green two days ago and it’s smiles, hugs and handshakes all around. It took a while to remember it was OK to sit with friends, gather in crowds and leave the masks at home. All the managed isolation has paid off, and one of the unexpected benefits has been the absence of the “crud”, the inescapable lingering cold and cough that has plagued the population in years past, but has not been here this time. No runny noses or missed days of work because of fatigue and malaise, which leaves the medical team sitting around with no sick people calling in for treatment, but a probable blueprint for the future. Of course it doesn’t affect the dental schedule, and within a few days of putting up the weekly sign up sheet for exams and cleanings it gets filled with folks happy to see the dentist.
      The party at the Waste Barn last night had a few hundred people packed to the walls with standing room only for the music and skits, and ended with a wedding presided by a fellow that claimed “By the powers vested in me by absolutely no one, I now pronounce you man and wife!” It was a great way to end the day after an afternoon hike with a buddy that was rewarded with my first penguins of the season, along with some seals basking on the ice in the 24 hour sunshine. The next sunset is February 20th, so we’ve got 7 more weeks of daylight, at which time I’ll probably be on my way home.
      Today is New Year’s eve since we’re a day ahead of most of you, but the big celebration known as Ice Stock is scheduled two days from now on Saturday as part of a 2 day weekend celebration of music and food. Probably more hiking, pickleball and ping pong for me around the events to keep the pants from feeling too tight. Hope your year ends on a high note too.
  Socializing Bob

Party at the Waste Barn

Weddell seals near the New Zealand base called Scott Base

Sheet metal skier sculpture near the Castle Rock hike

Meeting in our medical office