Our planning for our midwinter day celebrations continues. We have been sending out invitations to people far and wide and are excitedly awaiting the RSVPs to come in. Many of us who have chosen to participate in the midwinters day swim are starting to think seriously about our swimwear, and footwear choices. Unlike the continental stations who have a warm Hägglunds to dive into, we Macca expeditioners have the triple swim challenge of dipping in the water on the east side of the isthmus, a trans-coastal run dodging seals and kelp over to the west coast, followed up by a west coast dip, and a run back to station to warm up!
The indoor sports scene has boomed over the last week here, with the table tennis finally set up and the basketball hoop seeing some trick shot action. The cacophony created in the green store last Sunday by bouncing ping pong balls and dribbling basketballs was fit for a modern symphony. Our treadmill is in heavy use, with people having set training goals for a mid year fun run. For many I believe this is a cover, and that most are secretly training to run across the isthmus faster to get the swim over and done with!
Rich held a fun ropes and knot tying session in the mess, and we all practiced many knots and roping techniques required by the technical roping system that we use in the event of a search and rescue on steep slopes.
A wonderful night was enjoyed by all on Saturday night, as we were cooked a delicious vegetarian Indian food extravaganza by Ranger, Anna. For the details check out the accompanying story!
This week we also had a screening of the 2014 Antarctic 48-hour film festival entries. The festival is held every year in August. We held a screening so all of our first time expeditioners could see what is was all about. It was particularly wonderful to see these films coming into midwinter celebrations, to appreciate just how unique the opportunity is to be a part of a group of so few people from many nations who are spending their winter on a research station in the Antarctic and subantarctic.
Aside from all of the fun and frivolity on station, we are all progressing well with our work, despite the shortened daylight hours and some weather related challenges. This week our water supply has been frozen so the station is becoming more water smart. Some rather innovative and inventive water conservation measures have been thrown about in discussion, but for now some common sense may just keep our usage to an acceptable rate. We all have our fingers and toes crossed, in the hope that the water will defrost in time to run the spa for midwinter swim day!