Thursday, December 31, 2009

ATO Shift Photos

Here we have a few shots of the whole crew that is on our shift....with the exception of Kaska. These photos were taken in the cargo yard with the deltas we use to transport everything to and from the airfield.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Eve Cocktail Party

Thursday night we hosted our third annual Christmas Eve Cocktail Party. This was our biggest party yet as we had at least 30 or more people there at some point during the evening. Our first guest showed up at 6:30 pm and we didn't leave the room to head to the town Christmas Party until 9:30. We served gin & tonics and one of us was pretty much making them the whole time. We ended up going through five liter bottles before we cut everyone off and made them switch to beer.
Here's Matt, Susie, Tom, Gordon and Steve-O on the floor.
Sarah & Jen stopped by and posed with Susie.
When the room got full, the party overflowed in to the hallway. Here's Brandon, Kelly, Mandy & Flip.Rachel & Ron
The past two years our friends Norman & Dave sent us fun straws for the party. This year we gave them to six people who hadn't been to our Christmas party before. The straws are known for making the drinks hit you harder. Here's a before shot of Flip, Grant, Matt, Sully, Amy & Gordon....
....and the after photo....posed of course!
Here's a group shot of most of the people who are on our shift.
Twan, Mandy, Flip & Natasha
Julie stopped by and posed with Kelly
Our Air Services Crew, Susie, Tom & Kaska
After we left our room we stopped at Kaska's room for shots of Polish Vodka. Gordon true to the spirit of the evening drank it through his Santa straw.
Twan & Dave in Kaska's room
Joe, Liz, Kelly & Dave at the Town Christmas Party

Christmas Dinner

We've been on the night shift since the week before Christmas, but we still woke up at 1:00 pm to have drinks and dinner with our friends. The cocktail party started at 1:00, but by the time we got ready it was 2:30 when we arrived.

Here's Todd, Wendy and Andy
Pam, Joe, Mary, Alex & SusanThe group enjoying Christmas Dinner. This year we had Prime Rib, Roast Duck, Lobster Tails and a plethora of other goodies.Dave, Pam & Kelly
It's tradition to walk to Hut Point after the Christmas Dinner, but this year it was so cold and windy there were only four of us who showed up.
Alex, Liz, Pam & Dave

Christmas Day Gift Exchange

Our day was so busy from the time we woke up that we didn't exchange gifts until 8:00 PM Christmas evening.

Here's a photo of our tree of lights, the cards we received and the penguins we got from Mom & Dad Cheek last year.
Our stockings and gifts
Here we are prior to opening gifts.
Dave with the goodies from his stocking
Dave with his hew shirt from New Zealand
Here's Dave with his new retro Cubs sweatshirt.
Kelly with his gifts
Kelly got car magazines in his stocking
Kelly also got a wooden bowl made here at McMurdo from recycled wood
He also got new slippers so he doesn't have to wear Dave's around any more....

White Elephant Gift Exchange

At 8:30 PM we joined our co-workers at Hut 10 for a White Elephant gift exchange. If you're not familiar with this, it's where everyone brings a gift to add to a pile. You then draw numbers and take turns choosing a gift from the pile or taking one that someone else has already chosen. Each gift can only be stolen three times. It's always a lot of fun with much laughter involved.

Here's Dave with friends from work.
Co-workers getting ready for the gift exchange.
Amy gets a laugh from her gift.
Kelly got some weird glasses....before someone stole them from him...
Gordon got a couple of Christmas Pez...before someone stole them...
Twan was happy with his singing dog with flapping ears.
Sully seemed to enjoy one of the empty boxes rather than the gift he got.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Kelly's trip to Allan Hills Antarctica

A fun thing happened to Kelly on Monday while he was working at the airfield. He got a call from Dave in the office saying that a trip to Allan Hills in the Dry Valleys was happening. There was a spot for him to go if he wanted to. So about a half hour later he was flying on a Twin Otter along with some other people from our department. The flight took them out over the open water of McMurdo Sound, then in through the mountains. The pictures below are great, but they just don't capture the scale of it all.

This map shows Allan Hills. They are in the top left corner inside the red outlined area. If you click the picture it will get larger and easier to see the names Kelly in the plane. Here's the survival bags and cockpit. Open water of McMurdo Sound. Dry Valley mountains and glaciers. More amazing beauty. Kelly by the Twin Otter at Allan Hills field camp. The Ski way was marked with black trash bags so the pilot knows where to land. Mountains and Valleys.

Turkey time.....

Here we are gathering with friends for "Happy Hour" prior to Thanksgiving Dinner. Kelly visiting with Wendy, Patrick and Sarah.
Tom and Patrick
The table of 30 enjoying the meal.
Dave and Kelly.
Yummy desserts. Chocolate covered strawberries.
Any much more....