1. It is a local call from McMurdo to Denver, Colorado. All other calls are…long distance.
2. McMurdo Station (Mac Town) has a 6 day work week. Sunday is the weekend, which includes a banquet of fresh food during the 4 hour brunch, parties, field trips, and a fair amount of cutting loose.
3. Expeditions and Antarctic bases used dogs as late as the 1980s. However, it is now against the Antarctic Treaty to bring non-indigenous species to Antarctica. So, I do not get to have a sled-dog team (how sad).
|Yes, it is a troll. Yes, it is under a bridge.|
Where to hang out in Mac Town
Long hours are the norm down here (at least in the summer) as there are only a few months to get everything done before the cold comes back and the planes stop flying. But there are also a lot of opportunities for recreation, including movies, three gyms, two libraries and three bars as well as 6-8 social events scheduled each day.
My favorite haunt is the Coffee House. One of the three bars, it is a coffee house in name only since wine and port are the most served drinks. However, it has an espresso machine, so coffee can be had though most of the locals take it with a shot of whiskey. Still, it is a nice place to kick back. It has internet connections (a commodity here), warm drinks, and it is contained in a windowless Quonset hut originally built in the 50’s. Windowless is important as the sun never sets this time of year, and a windowless building gives the illusion of night--very important for maintaining a normal sleep pattern.
I also like the décor -- while much of the station feels and looks like a very dirty college campus, inside the Coffee House with its elegant wood paneling and arctic décor, it really feels like Antarctica. Compare to the galley (bottom photo) which could be just about anywhere.
The other thing I like is that the Coffee House has the best theater in town. With an HD screen, BIG speakers and the lights out, it looks and feels like you are in a theater, and those couches are amazingly comfortable.
|Coffee House Theater|
By comparison, here is the galley. Now tell me, where would you rather hang out?