It was the Thursday before labor day when the fear gripped me. What had I done! I had just gotten the word, that I had 'cleared medical' and was "pq'd" (Physically Qualified). That was the last step, it was a done deal. I'm headed to Antarctica.
I guess that up to this point, there was always part of the process that was not totally in my control, and I'd have an excuse if it didn't happen. Yep, this was something I really wanted to do, now I really had to finish all the little things that needed to get done, so I could leave.
I went out to dinner that night, and as I pulled up to the Bayou (a local restaurant), the moon was almost full, and rising above lookout mountain. It hit me that it was probably the last time I would see the full moon for the next 6 months. It outlined how very different my life was going to be. (The sun will not set the entire time I'm on the Antarctic Continent).
When you are following a path, it's easy to take the trail you've done before, the familiar, the comfortable. I've a made hard right turn, and am headed south, way south.
I've taken a job with Antarctic Support Associates. A contractor to the National Science Foundation supporting the projects on Polar Research. I'll be working as a Communications Technician. From my understanding of the position, it has a lot of different facets, but the primary job will be suppling the field camps with telephone and data communications, to support the scientific research.
|A good friend of mine, Bob Zook did this last winter. While he was down there,
he wrote a few stories and sent back some fantastic digital photos, which we put into
a web page.
This year he went down for "winfly" the first winter flight, and here is the picture he sent back around labor day. He gets to see darkness (I won't), and said it had been down to -39o over night. (They said it will be warmer when I'm there!).
Well as time went on, he keep telling me all these fantastic stories, and pretty soon, had me convinced that I should apply.
|They had openings in the Communications Shop, where he worked, and I put
in my application. I had come to the conclusion, that if I put this opportunity on hold
I might never get there. The time was right, I was ready for a break from my old job
with Pitkin County, I was finishing up the few Search and Rescue obligations I had left,
and was single.
It was one of those opportunities that not many people get, and I think will be an adventure of a lifetime!