Thank god, it’s only -41F

I have a belly full of vegetables.

That’s not a euphemism. Nor is it innuendo. Or anything scandalous, salacious or mildly interesting. Except to us. For those of us who have been down here since the “freshies” ran out 2 months ago and our previous flight, the one meant to resupply us, no-showed (damn you New Zealand!!), this is hugely interesting. We have been subsisting on canned vegetables and frozen then fried things. In the back of my mind, I can hear the old salties, the McMurdo residents of years past, and their “back in my day” stories. And yes, even quite recently, it used to be a 9 month stretch between resupplies,  without freshies or mail. Certainly it’s do-able. We would have most certainly survived. Man has survived for longer on less. But it doesn’t mean it didn’t suck.

There was a vicious, nasty rumor last night that some of the freshies had frozen because it took too long to get from the plane to somewhere for storage. Anything left outside freezes quite quickly.  I have been informed by reliable sources that said rumor is entirely “Trump” ie based entirely on falsehood and lacking any actual factual basis. But only the oranges are orange.

So today, at lunch, there were plates of veggies as far as the eye could see. Beautiful mounds of greenery. Everyone was quiet, except for the occasional pleasured groans. I’ve never had a better tasting orange.

Sadly, it’s not all puppies and rainbows down here in Mac-town. A large portion of the flight capacity was needed for inbound cargo. Some of it, I have been told, was perhaps less than needed at the moment. But cargo for station maintenance takes precedence over …..mail. The rumor is that all the packages that were scheduled on the last flight have made it, as well as some of the flat (letter) mail.

To all who sent care packages, thank you. I just may not get them until July. Or August. There’s a pattern here if you haven’t figured it out. 1) Hopefully the plane makes it to us. 2) Hopefully the plane has mail and freshies on it. 3) If #1 and #2 fail, repeat.

It’s a minor miracle that the plane even made it with some mail and gorgeous freshies. I have been told that -42F is the lower limit for the planes to land. Apparently, below -42F, the hydraulics freeze and the plane is unable to take off. We are predicted to have a low of -61F in town today, which means the lows on the ice shelf/runway are likely in the -70sF. With wind chill, it was -41F yesterday. One day. It would have only needed one small maintenance issue or problem to delay the flight by one day. And one day later, it would have been too cold to land a plane. One day.

Thank baby Jesus it was only -41F, because now I’m going to go get my mail.

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