January 25, 2009
I’ve been packing stuff in McMurdo Station – everything we used this season, from Scott tents to AA batteries, must be inventoried, checked off, and returned to its proper place.
There was time, though, for a little local culture at McMurdo, after the weekly Sunday brunch. Today was the 9th annual McMurdo Film Festival, a showing of short films made by U.S. Antarctic Program people this season. Several films were shown from McMurdo, and a few more from people at the U.S. South Pole Station, which is smaller and more claustrophobic – and, by any judge, the homemade movies show it.
Highlights of the McMurdo films were a 5-minute feature, by a cook, about the journey of a galley plate through dinner (quite humorous) and a grainy, black-and-white, dramatized documentary of an “ascent” of Observation Hill (a little peak next to station that I walked up this morning in 15 minutes). The South Pole movies, however, showed a fair amount of, well, tension: two women spent 10 minutes discussing the studliest food brands, in barely-kept-under-control entendres (Quaker: “Best cream of oats, hold the oats”; Chiquita: “May be a girl, but who needs a man when she’s good with bananas?”), the Frosty Boy ice cream machine went berserk and drank all their beer, and a team of drillers went to round up the hose, which turned out to be the ho’s… You wonder what really goes on at the South Pole! But it’s good entertainment!
Anyway, we’re headed to Cape Royds in a couple days to band a bunch more penguins, and maybe a quick trip back to Cape Crozier. More to come!