It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
Each winter, the few dozen workers at the South Pole research station spend nine months in total isolation: No airplanes can fly in or out until the base "warms" up to 50 below zero -- otherwise the fuel might freeze and kill the engine.
To hold the workers over, the company running the station stocks a store ahead of time with provisions, including plenty of alcohol. (After all, who wouldn't want a healthy gin reserve before embarking on months of endless night with your co-workers?) To round out the standard liquor and beer staples, some of the "winter-overs" bring special treats with them in their 125 pounds of allowable luggage.
A bored, trapped, and cold population naturally gave rise to a bar. Club 90 South was a simple, wood-paneled joint with a hole in the wall opening up to the outside, where the bartenders would put the Jagermeister to keep it chilled. Massive pallets of beer, wine, and liquor were flown in with the winter crew, and they prayed it would last until them all nine months. The previous year's team, Broughton said, ran out of wine and beer early.
The bar operated on an honor system: take some liquor, leave some liquor. The system didn't work perfectly, though -- they were out of all but their worst beer (New Zealand's Export Gold) two months before the end of the winter. The workers became best friends; then they ran out of things to talk about. "By the time a year has gone by, you pretty much know everyone's stories," he said. "There is no escape."
THE McMurdo research station in Antarctica was described by Jim Lovell, the Apollo astronaut, as a "home for heroes, scientists and visionaries".
Nicholas Johnson, 40, who for 10 years had a menial job on the US base, 1300km from the South Pole, believes there are two reasons people keep going back - money and sex. The Seattle-based writer says the polar community has an appetite for "heedless sex". The fact that people working through the Antarctic winter, the "big dark" between March and August, are tested for HIV makes it easier to switch lovers. There is little else to do. "Though the gender ratio is unbalanced (with two men for every woman), and some go hungry for long periods, when sex does happen it - in the library or the greenhouse - it whips everyone into a frenzy," Johnson said. McMurdo is well prepared: in one year managers distributed 16,500 condoms to the 200 people spending the winter there. Johnson says many take "ice wives" or "ice husbands" even if they are married. "It is understood this is only for the season and no one says anything about it - and nobody tells anybody back in the States, 9000 miles (14,500km) away." McMurdo managers expect 10 people to develop mental illnesses each winter. Some turn violent. There is a lot of binge drinking and the more determined find discreet corners in the coldest place on earth to grow marijuana.
originally posted by: Joneselius
At least no one's worried about their size. "It's minus 60 out there love".....
I don't get why you'd act depraved though, honestly people are incapable of entertaining themselves.
originally posted by: CulturalResilience
Are there any research stations where the ratio is reversed? If so does anyone have the application site address.
originally posted by: Shamrock6
I have a buddy that was stationed down there for a while, back before the internet was a big "thing." He loved it, aside from completely ruining his back trying to push a hangar door closed.
If you get selected, I'd love to see updates on your journey!