Week 50 and 51 Pole-Markers

25th November - 8th October 2000

On Monday morning I walk out of the dome. There is something very strange - it's BRIGHT. We're talking a blue sky and hard shadows. Until now the sun has been filtered through a layer of blowing snow or heavy cloud. It looks great.

Walking to Mapo and there is something strange. There is a wide patch a groomed snow. A couple of cats are out. They have started to make the runway! Wow, this is really starting to feel like the end is in sight.

Comms hasn't been the best lately with us loosing all three satellites for three days. When we do get one back it's LES - the slowest. Our main satellite is looked after by NASA. How the hell did they get a man on the moon?

There was a typical "miss understanding" this week over the new Geographic pole marker. Since 1996 Dave P. has been making them in the machine shop down stairs in Mapo. He gets someone he knows - a winterer typically - to come up with a design, he runs it past USGS, and makes it. This year we wanted it to have some sort of tribute to Rodney. The design was a raised outline of the continent, and a raised scorpion on it, with the constellation marked out on it's back. Scorpius was Rodney favourite constellation, and along with the Southern Cross, dominates the night sky here.

This seemed very appropriate - outline of Antarctica - the biggest constellation in the sky at night seen here - a symbol of astronomy, what we mainly do here - and a tribute to our friend. Well RPSC thought it didn't represent the wider community of Antarctica or some BS. They'd been told of this design, and had not got back to DP. We knew they had another design in mind from a commercial company that sells Antarctic gea. The owner works here regularly and is a nice bloke. But our marker was finished. Then we get an email saying they don't want to use it. We also notice that T has released his 2001 Pole Marker T-Shirts. Maybe this decision is based on commercial reasons rather than what the "wider community of Antarctica" want? That's the way I saw it anyway. It's soon sorted out with a few well chosen words to people in highish places.

Just a typical WO situation.

To be continued .......

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