“What do you do for entertainment while your down on the ice ?”
Conducting fieldwork in Antarctica is a cost and labour intensive task. With the world’s harshest environment and ever changing weather conditions as well as logistical constrains, we have to put a lot of work into a successful expedition. Our instruments might struggle with the cold, storms might keep us in our tents up to several days or in the worst-case scenario some team-members even get sick. That means, if conditions allow, we collect as many measurements as possible for further analysis back in Christchurch.
But scientists are also human beings. Keeping our spirits up high makes it much easier to bear with the heavy workload. An occasional joke, taking selfies and group pictures or simply pointing out cool landscape features to each other makes you forget about your freezing toes and numb fingertips. To my experience, good times in the field lead not only to a good data-set but also to unforgettable memories and friendships that can last a lifetime.
One way to keep yourself entertained is to simply do how you feel. For example, the Ross Ice Shelf is dead-flat and has about the size of France. This means it is not only Antarctica’s second largest ice-shelf, but it is also a very very big dance floor… and I feel like breakdance.