16 January, 1999

Saturday, January 16th, 1999

Greetings to all from the South Pole of this Earth.

As I said yesterday, I stayed up all night writing and looking at the Antarctic sun from the office at ARO - one of the few offices that has windows. How beautiful it is at all different hours of the day. The position changes and for a few hours during the night, my desk was 'soaked' with Antarctic light.

I had breakfast with the early crew, went to bed at 7a.m. and slept until 12: 30p.m. Another sleeping record. Today was also shower day: 2 minutes of course, twice a week. It is amazing how long a two-minute shower can be. Today was also laundry day. We are allowed to have one load per week. In the afternoon I mailed journals to the web and attached pictures.

I have received many questions about recreational activities here at the South Pole. After a very busy week, I went around to find out. 1. WHEIT ROOMS: There are two weight rooms, one is under the dome and another in the summer camp. 2. YOGA CLASS. Three times a week, there is a yoga class. A member of the South Pole support team is the instructor. The class is held in one of the jamesway's. 3. GYM. There is a gym under the dome. It is small but people play volleyball and racquetball. There are also aerobic classes during the wintertime. 4. SKI EQUIPMENT/ SKI HUT. Ski boots and poles available in the store for checkout. There is no charge for using it but they must be returned within a week. I am waiting for a pair to become available!! One has to check out and check in with the 'Communication Department'

(Comms). This includes hiking or skiing to the ski hut. 5. LIBRARY/VIDEOS: South Pole has a hardback library in the TV room, a soft back library in the Poolroom and an Antarctic collection in the store. 2000 videos are available in the 'black box'. The video library is available 24 hours a day and is maintained on the honor system. 6. MAGAZINES for the station arrive periodically. 7. SAUNA is available 24 hours. 8. Smoking is allowed only in the BAR (it is very small) or in the summer camp smoking lounge.

As you can see, the 200 people here at the station during the summer can follow a lot of activities. Besides short walks, I have not tried any of the facilities. I hope to hike or ski to the ski hut soon.

We had a parcticular nice cloud-less day and the sun was brighter than ever. So after dinner, Joel, Bryan, and I went outside to take pictures around the pole. (Andy did not feel well and stayed inside) It is difficult to take pictures without glasses on. It is so bright. We tried to get some good shots for the web. We continued walking to ARO's (it is about of a mile from the dome, downloaded our pictures, checked our data files from yesterdays flight and had some drinks with fresh snow. After a short walk and some reading, I was in bed about 1:30 a.m. Good night. It is early evening for you and still yesterday from where I am!!. Talk to you tomorrow. I am going to have a busy day again. As I laid down in my comfortable bed and remembered that tomorrow --- 87 years ago --- R. Scott arrived here at the South Pole, I was wondering how this South Pole station evolved in such a short time. I will find out tomorrow.

About the question I asked yesterday: when does the sun rises here at the South Pole? It is going to be September 23rd after it will set around March 22nd. Think about it! Andy and Joel will be working with no sunlight for over 6 month.


I am walking from ARO back to the dome ( in the background).


I am in the science computer room writing journals and editing data.


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