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November 22nd, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

by Steve Sweet

 

Today is the day McMurdo Station celebrates the Thanksgiving holiday.  It is a long weekend for the station since they have both today and Sunday off this week.  Thanksgiving is really a big deal on station, the galley staff put on a great meal with all the fixings you would expect for a Thanksgiving feast.  The galley is decked out with decorations and the tables adorned with tablecloths.  There are three seating times available for the meal, one at three, five, and seven – we signed up for the three o’clock meal.  Around 2:30 we headed off to stake our place in the line for the meal, we managed to secure the front of the line for the first time ever. A group of firefighters from out on the runway came in for the meal and we yielded the front of the line to them so they would have more time to eat before heading back to the runway.

The line starting to form

The team ready for some dinner

As we entered the dining room we had our names checked off the list and went to fix our plates. The galley staff did their normal stellar job with this special occasion.   

The team eating the best meal of the season

After dinner we continued the B518 (B518 is the number of our research group) Thanksgiving tradition and walked out to hut point.  Its always feels good to walk off some of the food we had gorged ourselves on earlier.  This year it was a little chilly and fairly windy once we made it to the point (-15 ºC with wind chill). Hut Point is a fifteen minute walk from McMurdo Station where Robert Falcon Scott's first hut (Robert Falcon Scott is a very famous Antarctic explorer from the UK).  This hut is referred to as Scott's Discovery Hut and was constructed in 1902. Even though we were off work today, the New Zealand Heritage Trust was hard at work doing some restoration to the historic hut to preserve it for the future. Just up the hill from the hut is Vince's Cross.  The cross was erected in 1902 in memory of seaman George T. Vince who slipped off of a cliff and drowned while trying to return to the ship during a blizzard.  

Our annual photo at Vince's cross

We braved the cold weather and made it back to the base where we took in a movie, read, or otherwise enjoyed the rest of our Thanksgiving Holiday.