So my glorious return to the ICE happens much sooner than I expected. After 13 months at Amundsen Scott South Pole station, one would think Keith would like to experience real life for a while. Alas, you are mistaken. As of 2009, I have spent a full 2 years, 24 months living in Antarctica. These 24 months have both been spent between summers and winters at the South Pole and McMurdo Stations. But now things change a bit.
As of April 14ish, I will be the Winter Food Supervisor at Palmer Research Station located on the Palmer Peninsula. Geographically speaking, it is on the opposite side of the continent from McMurdo. Rather than taking a C-17 from Christchurch New Zealand, we will be taking a four day boat trip from Punta Arenas through the Drake Passage.
I have never been to this station and, from what I hear it is certainly a treat. This particular winter contract starts in April, ends in October, and for the majority of the time I will be the only cook cooking for 18 people. I have actually never cooked for this few people. To quote an old supervisor of mine, "I may have difficulty making less than five gallons of anything." I will be responsible for a hot lunch, hot dinner, and two breaks throughout each day.
I decided to do this blog thing again for a couple reasons. The first one I attempted at the South Pole was cut short due to extenuating circumstances beyond my control. My big mouth coupled with petty people deciding to draw attention to things they shouldn't care about kept me from doing a good job. Hopefully this one is different. Also, because of the ridiculous amount of questions I get regarding this place and this job, I feel it is a great tool for teaching. Because this is not the South Pole, there will be a variety of temperatures and wildlife. So yes, I will answer temp and wildlife questions.
Also, I have never really taken pictures of the food I make. So I'm hoping that this is as much a Keith-Food-Blog as it is a Palmer blog. Over the years, I have worked with some awesome people and learned some awesome things. So I'm going to take this public forum opportunity to tell everyone how awesome I am. Because I am awesome. That's what these self-indulgent sites are all about right? Showcasing how awesome you are to the uncaring world?
I'm not in Antarctica yet. I'm in Denver taking a break in between Fire/OSAR Training and Orientation. I've included some pictures from our Fire Training two weeks ago. Being isolated for the winter at an Antarctic station means everyone participates in emergency response teams. We must have certain skills at our disposal in case bad things happen. 10 of us went through a five day Fire Training with the Arvada Fire Station staff in Arvada CO. Pretty sweet. If you can get over the claustrophobia...