A few fairly quick notes …
My flight from South Pole is scheduled for tomorrow, and the USAP’s plan was that we would change planes to a C-17 in McMurdo and fly to Christchurch without actually spending a night in McMurdo. The runway that would support that is still not frozen, so the plan has changed. Nobody has actually told us what it has changed to.
Mail! Back on November 26th Ritual Coffee in San Francisco roasted some beans. The very next day a friend mailed me some. Coffee is a fragile thing, and is best used soon after it is roasted — say a week, or perhaps two. I’m taking the bag of Kenyan Peaberry, and leaving behind the two others for the enjoyment of wintering polies. Also of note to coffee fiends, at this altitude, water boils at a lower temperature which makes the extraction quite different.
Some strain of norovirus is running around. We have a few cases here at South Pole, and hear there are more at McMurdo. Meanwhile, trying to get people into and out of Antartica is creating a nice mix of people and their microbes, and you might expect that it will get worse at both locations and people leaving the ice will take it with them. Couldn’t happen at a better time. No wait, not “better” I mean the other thing … “worse”. I intend not to touch anything for the next few days.