At 28 degrees, we McMurdo-ites put on a rollicking rockfest called “Icestock” complete with chili cook-off and Hoola Hoops. Martina helps out by serving Dave and Tina’s New Mexico-style chili and if you looked around the 20′ steel container, you would find his marguerita maxi-thermos to help wash it down. It was a great way to start the new year.

Joining us at our New Years Day “Icestock Festival” is our annual Coast Guard Ship Polar Star (and on alternate years, Polar Sea) which arrived along with the Adele penguins two days ago. It blasted it’s way through 81 kilometers of 2 meter thick ice in spite of the huge B-15 Jamaica-sized iceberg which has moved north this year. We took a two hour tour through the innards of this massive ship and in return host the crew to our station. The New Zealanders also host a New Years party (now, that’s brave!) for us Yanks however, Martina and I turn in before 10pm. Our phone rings at midnight from our party-going friends. Happy New Year!!!

Tsunami Update: Our Antarctic scientists say the Burma plate moved 66 feet during the recent earthquake which caused the tsunami in Asia. Also, the sea floor rose 16 feet and slid 36 feet horizontally. In some areas the coastline dropped 3 feet, so some areas that were once above water are now below. The rotational axis of the earth moved about 2″ and the days were shortened by 0.1 ms, so we’d have to add a leap second in 10,000 years.

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