Saturday, February 16, 2008

Peace & Quiet

The station feels very different since close. We're now down to 60 people, from a summer peak of 264, and you can tell. The hallways are generally empty, the science lab is quiet and dimly lit, the galley is never more than half full, and a surprising feeling of peace reigns over it all.

The day after station close, it snowed. Not just ice condensing from the air, but full on snow, 2 inches of it, and with it came warm temperatures. The air shot up from -46C one day to -33C the next. By south pole standards, it was practically balmy out.

Most machinery has been stored for winter, and very few people are out these days. On the walk out to DSL, all you could hear was the wind and your footsteps crunching in the snow. Today, even the wind died off, and if you stood still, there wasn't a sound to heard. After the hectic 36-hour-a-day schedule of the summer, it's a nice relaxing change of pace. (Don't get me wrong - we're still working 18 hours/day and have our hands more than full; the environment is just completely different.)

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