How does one document every day of their life when essentially nothing changes?  

In retrospect, I think that this was the single most difficult aspect when writing about such a unique experience
as spending a year in Antarctica.

Very little differed from one day to the next during my stay at McMurdo.  Keeping a year long journal was a very
boring and tedious process not only for me, but alone readers as well.  More than once I contemplated
abandoning the entire process only to be encouraged by the emails that I received from well wishers.

Given the unique working and living conditions that one faces in Antarctica, it was also very difficult to write
about certain topics.  Essentially, what little I could write about was sanitized.  I tread very lightly when dealing
with almost everyone and everything.  The last thing that one needs in the middle of an Antarctic winter is to
have antagonists in your story.  

With the apologies over and done, I'll move on what's happened in my life since.

Three days after my last journal entry, I boarded a C-141 for Christchurch and returned to civilization.  It was
nearly one year and one week since I'd last seen grass.  Ella and I spent nearly two weeks in New Zealand and
Australia before I returned home for three months.

Feeling alienated by the "normal" world, I contacted Jordan at the McMurdo power plant and learned of a
vacancy that winter.  I jumped for it and found myself back on the ice for the winter of '03.  Turns out that two
other plant operators left before the winter started and were replaced at the last minute with people from other

I'd be lying if I didn't say that I was a bit dismayed at hearing that I would once again winter with people who I
thought were unqualified for the job.  The two ladies brought aboard were also very outgoing and overly
energetic.  This is not what one needs to deal with during the winter, which is much more meditative and slower
paced.  I saw conflict from the outset, and this affected my attitude towards both the job and them.

Before mid-winter I had to say my
mea kulpas and come about 180 degrees.  They really made the winter.
Even a crusty and sour winter over like myself learned to appreciate their warmth and genuine good nature.  I
would winter with anyone on that crew once again.  So here it is ladies...my humble apology for the world to see.

Of course, at that point I still hadn't gotten rid of the venom that I had reserved for Raytheon (for reasons not
mentioned in my journal due the limitations stated above).

At the end of the winter in 2002, several of my co-workers and I filed suite against Raytheon for violating the
Fair Labor Standards Act by not paying overtime.  We worked 54 hours per week but were paid salaries.  In the
US, you can't salary skilled labor or any other position that is normally filled by what are traditionally hourly

During the winter, I became aware of another on ice department managed by another company.  I was qualified
for the position and left the ice for 6 weeks in August and then returned in October in the new role.

I'll not go into specifics about the new job or company, but will say that I'm finally getting to experience some of
Antarctica.  I travelled extensively by helicopter and tracked vehicle around Ross Island and on the continent

Anyway, in January of 2004 the court had reached a decision about the overtime case.  They sided with
Raytheon and dismissed the complaint.  The judge felt that Antarctica should be viewed as a foreign country
and that applying the Fair Labor Standards Act would upset the political nature of the Antarctic Treaty.

Initially, I was bit upset at the decision but have since come to accept it.  To be honest, I'm somewhat relieved.  I
was consumed with bitterness and negative energy.  Now that it's behind me I can focus on more positive
things.  It also means that I can finally put the closing comments on this experiment now that there's no fear of
my website being used against me by my previous employer.

After spending nearly 24 months out of a 29 month period on the ice, I find myself at home for a couple of

It's an odd little place, the United States.  People are in a hurry, advertising is in your face, and the there seems
little genuine interest in anyone or anything.  It's taking a long time to accept this very "un-ice" like environment.

Aside from off season training at technical schools, I'm not doing much but watching the world go by outside my
balcony.  Ella is very understanding that I need time to decompress before I re-enter the world and hasn't
placed a great deal of pressure on me.  As long as I keep the dishes washed and laundry clean, that is...

In August, I'll return to the ice for the Austral summer.  I keep saying that it will be my final season, but I've said
that twice before.

I don't have any plans to update this site, although that may change should I do something of a different nature
that I deem interesting enough to want to chronicle.

Until then, thanks for reading and Godspeed.



07 April 2004.