I’ve been sick with a cold since I left Madison over two weeks ago, so yesterday I decided to visit Medical.

South Pole Medical Center

My primary purpose in visiting Medical was to ensure that I didn’t have a sinus infection or similar disease that I was confusing with a cold. There are apocryphal stories of diseases and injuries that refused to heal with the unlucky patient was at the Pole. For instance, there is the story of the WinterOver who broke his arm mid-winter and didn’t experience any healing until he left the continent. Unfortunately, my cold seems to be of the same ilk. So, the doctor prescribed a couple of medications to control symptoms and basically told me to wait it out.

It probably doesn’t help that I haven’t had a good night of sleep since I left Madison. Last night, for instance, I went to sleep at 23:00, woke up at 01:00, was wide awake until nearly 04:00, then slept again until 07:22 this morning. Unfortunately, that’s not unusual for me here. One of these days I’m expecting to absolutely collapse, but so far that hasn’t been in the cards.

My group has been working very hard the last couple of days to unwind and turn off old systems and replace them with new systems that we shipped down earlier in the summer. So far, the hardest part has been unwinding how some of the older systems function since they grew organically over time and almost no one who was involved in the building of those systems is still around.

The weather yesterday was quite interesting here. The temperature rose to a relatively mild -13F, while clouds of snow and ice crystals closed in around the station and forced one of our Hercules flights back to McMurdo. After a few hours, the weather pulled back a bit. When we came out of the IceCube Lab around 17:00, there was a spectacular sundog located behind the Elevated Station. Since the sun isn’t scheduled to set here until sometime in March, it was a very unique experience since it gave everything color like you would see around sunset in the North. Suffice it to say that we took plenty of pictures trying to capture the moment.

Sundog Behind South Pole Station