Tuesday, June 10, 2008


The station isn't a big place, and while a good chunk of the winterover crew does go outside fairly regularly, the bulk of our lives still take place indoors. There are two main corridors - one of each level - which run the length of the station, and these days you can always find people wandering along them, searching for something unknown.

It's been 4 months since station close, and most people have by now largely exhausted the entertainment they brought with them. Some, particularly the repeat winterovers, have even gone through the (fairly impressive) video collection at the store. After a certain amount of time in one place, a general feeling of restlessness takes over. We all spend an inordinate amount of time in our rooms and workplaces, and eventually need to get out.

The problem is, there's not really anywhere to go. Some people go for a walk outside, but many still fear for their lives when leaving station. (The rest of us are outside so often that we've probably just returned from a 2 hour walk.)

Instead, people tend to wander the two main halls, peeking in all the windows, seeing what's going on out in the wider station. There's usually some sort of entertainment to be had - a pool game or movie to watch, someone in the galley to have a drink with, or at very least a fellow wanderer to salute or chat with.

So far I've been kept busy enough that my wanders only come in the middle of the night after resolving a telescope alarm. Within a couple of laps around station, I almost always run into someone with insomnia, shuffling by in their pajamas, nowhere to be and nothing to do.

The wandering is bound to ramp up over the next couple of months, as we pass midwinter and people begin waiting with baited breath for the sun to return. I'm not quite there yet - still busy with work and enjoying the aurora-filled starscape - but the isolation has begun to take its toll on some of the crew.


desert tortise said...

So how long is that corridor?

Keith said...

I don't have the exact number, but it's pretty close to 400 feet end to end.

Hallie said...

"but the isolation has begun to take its toll on some of the crew."


Let's hear from one of them. Guest post, guest post!