Share your memories of Antarctica with our community. No responsibility accepted for an overwhelming desire to return.
Memories of Antarctica
If you have anything to add please
Once wedded to Nature
there is no divorce - separate her you may and hide yourself
amongst the flesh-pots of London, but the wild will keep calling
and calling forever in your ears. You cannot escape the "little
- Frank Wild
Made it to the South Pole and ran around the world four
times in less than two minutes!!! Loved the Final Frontier
would do it again in a Heartbeat
- ABF3 James Piskule
Travelling with 2 dog teams. Gently down hill for 40
miles on a beautiful day from Mount Andrew Jackson to the
edge of King George V1 Sound.
- Graham Wright Station Leader Stonington Island
I'll always remember the helo trip to the Dry
Valleys and Lake Vanda. The best story was of the
helo pilot and crew's revenge on a particularly unfriendly
geologist grad student or prof by planting a fake tree, then
flying over it the next day with him aboard. He nearly went
crazy when he saw it, thinking he had discovered the first
tree in Antarctica.
- Bruce Smith
I'm always on the sunny edge of darkness about the Antarctica. . . As winter over I remember the wild sky turning colors as the sun began to return after the darkness I can remember like it was this morning . . .
The CO "You will talk about your experience on the ice the rest of your lives"
I have an extreme love every second
spent at McMurdo . . . I think most of my family doesn't
believe I was there as a young man . . . I talk about the
place to everyone who will listen.
- Ramon A Aviles
Fun entertainment. Hitching a ride up to the transmitter
site, and sliding down the extinct volcano crater on a well
waxed "banana" sled...fun going down.....not so much
pulling back up!!
- Brian "Broke Dick" Fogg (also of Froggies Groggies Communication 1 bowling team. .. another fun time)
The sound of 130+ sledge dogs all howling at the
same time on their spans on the North East Glacier
behind Stonington Island base.
- Drummy Small
1. Skiing on the ice cap at 3 am with the
whole Adelaide Range painted pink by alpenglow.
2. Rowing a dinghy out across a perfectly calm Bellingshausen Sea, immediately after finishing a night on met duty and trying to photograph Adelie penguins "porpoising"
- Bryan Rorke - 1961-64 - Base T Adelaide
Maintenance Supervisor Williams Field, Engine Overhaul
McMurdo, I am the first an only submarine sailor
to be re-enlisted by a astronaut, USAF Col. Scott who was there
to visit the geographic South Pole and I requested to go on
the same flight and he re-enlisted me there. I never
did receive my Cruse Book and would any like very much FORTY
YEARS after the fact.
- S.A.Casselle Jr. - W/O 69/70- McMurdo/South Pole
Attached to CBU201-Navy Seabees-finished installing
de-saltation unit at the Nuke Plant to finally have running
water at MacTown.-Ran the heat tape on the water lines to keep
them from freezing. Would love to go back there one
more time to see all the changes. We were housed in canvas Jamesway
huts-- very warm. The most majestic place I've ever seen.
- Mike Liso - 1966-67- McMurdo
I worked for public works. As an equipment
operator I did many jobs like clearing roads, Cleaning out ice
from drainage culverts, Projects with heavy equipment and just
enjoying the beauty of the ice caves. I loved Antarctica. I
will never forget being there and one of the few who has walked
on her ice and lived with out bugs for a few months. My duty
was cut short due to illness. Sept 84 to March 85. CAN DO
- EO1 DE Crook EO1 - 1984/1985- McMurdo
I really enjoyed my tours to Antarctica. I guess I can consider my self an old explorer. Admiral was with us in 55-56. Wintering is an experience that only one who has done can understand what was like. I have many stories that I don't possibly have to write in this space.
- Howard Crofoot - 1955-56 1956-57 wintered 1964 Hallett station- McMurdo- Little America 5 - Hallett station
Cold as a motha hubba...Hated it at first, then Loved
it and all of the cold adventures...from winfly, fuelling
the c-130's, 141's...working hard, playing hard...falling in
Love in Christchurch...to my crazy last days there on the ice...on
my back, recovering from the fire at the ice runway...would
love to make contact and thank everyone involved in helping
me from the ice to N.Z. to Hawaii to the burn center at Brook
Army medical center...Can't thank you folks enough for saving
my life...619 715-5048..in Cali, Enjoying Life
- Don Samuels - 1984-1986 - NSFA/Fuels
I was just 19 years old for my first tour to McMurdo. After
the summer at Byrd Station 72-73, I was working in the radio
room back in McMurdo when the radioman from the USCGC Staten
Island came in with their return itinerary to Seattle. At 20
I was full of pee and vinegar and no question seemed too terrifying.
I asked if I could return to Seattle on the Staten Island as
an auxiliary radioman. Chief Brown, he say, "You know what's
the matter with you Hirn?" "No Chief, what's the matter with
me?" says I. "You want to have your cake and eat it too." was
his reply "Is there anything wrong with that Chief." I queried.
"Not a damned thing." he spoke. He signed my request, called
the ship and after a dash to pick up my medical materials, mail,
laundry and my pay check, one hour later was standing on the
deck of the Staten Island with someone handing me an envelope
with Dramamine in it and the lines were cast off.
- David J. Hirn - Door County Wisconsin, USA
Wintering - had a wonderful time. A dental
chair which sat outside for 2 years was install into my room.
the convoy chef was saved after exposure to hypothermia.
Longest duration of convoy out side station. Maximum visit to
- Dr. Ghanshyam Singh 2002-2003 - Maitri, India
As an 18 year old being in a place with a girl behind
every tree was exciting. As a Seabee at least I wasn't
getting shot at.
- Ed Tarker - 1967, 1968- McMurdo, Williams Field
PH2 IN VXE-6 Photo. I was photomate in VXE-6 in DF
71 AND 72. Will never forget the experience of a lifetime, flying
all over the continent as a Navy photographer and now literally
an OLD Antarctic Explorer. Crewmates were all terrific guys.
First landed on Columbus Day 1970. Felt like the explorer.
Flew all over the continent shooting pix for Deep Freeze
yearbooks and official Navy photos of NSF and Navy personnel
at work and play. Closest thing to being the National
Geographic photographer for me. Memories of last time Byrd Station
was open and good old HMC Bud. Also covering flight with admiral
to exchange American and Russian scientists at Vostok Station.
Asked for a glass of water and was given "Stoli" instead slept
soundly all the way back to Willie Field. Experienced the best
that unique continent had to offer and proudly lived to "show
and tell" about it.
- Joe Urciuoli ' Lassiter Joe' - Op. D-F '71 & '72 - VXE-6 Photo Lab
So many memories, so many friends. Cookouts
with the Kiwis when it got up to 45 degrees. Walking around
the world in 24 steps. Meeting the Incoming planes with my room-mate
Cpt Thomson. Stealing the cheeze from the Kiwis on the NZ c130's
I miss it all. Would go back in a sec!
- James Smith USA - Army Det
Met some of the Hardest working , Fun loving , Incredible
people on the Face of the planet...it was an Honor
to have gone to the Bottom of the World....''stay Warm...Stay
- Eddie Sepeda- McMurdo
This was a special place and time in my life. It
allowed me the time to renew myself - I loved the time there,
especially during win-fly. I was fortunate to get to the South
Pole once as well. I would love to go back and visit one day.
Perhaps the greatest thing about being there was meeting my
future wife - we have been together ever since - Jeannie Beckman
- Glen Jenewein- McMurdo Station
Truly loved my time there. So many great memories. Pulling equipment out of cravasses, building a new Ice Pier, the people, and one of the best was exploring Ice Caves in Erebus Tongue Glacier, SAR, to find one that was safe and set up safety lines for summer tours. Awesome!! - Bob Horneij (UT1) - 1990 W/O, McMurdo Station
Want to go back. I miss the peace and the
many good memories.
- Gene Lostroh - Mac. Town, '87-88,'88-89 W/O
Fuelling Huts and help to supply and maintain the
water storage for drinking and showers at Williams field.I
providing live entertainment with professional musicians from
Davisville RI, home base of the Sea Bee's pop music group called
the Frigid Penguins. POP group Formed at McMurdo Station for
the memorable Las Vegas night in the Hilo Hanger, what a night
- Steven Murray - 1971 Winfly Summer support - Williams Field
So many memories! I'll never forget winfly 85, the
old Erebus club and Acey Deucy, opening Byrd Sfc Camp
87, and nearly getting popped on a piss test after South Pole
opened in 89.
- Jennifer Stanberry- McMurdo, NBY, UPB, NZ-Ch 85-90
So many good memories from The Ice, but most memorable
was a helo trip to a large iceberg at the ice edge to tend to
some divers...during a break, we hiked to a smaller
iceberg nearby, and scaled to the top where we found a fine
place to strip down and soak up some sun!!! It felt great!
- Ed Matheson - 1989-92 Summer- McMurdo and remote camps
Building Ice pier in -120 windchill in the middle
of winter and mid winter air drop.
- Robert Wiles- McMurdo 989/1990 Winter over
One of my happiest memories is joining the Lake Vanda
Swim Club, during the '76-'77 summer support season.
It was a very "cool" experience.
- Jack Bazydlo- McMurdo 1975-1978
After all these years the best time of my life was
the five winters on the ice. Tried to return but my
health wont allow it. Miss it very much.
- Gene Starks- McMurdo : w/o 86, 87, 88, 90, 91
Climbing up the USARP Flag pole in a blizzard
to borrow their flag. Summer 1966 at McMurdo.
- Jim Butler- McMurdo, Byrd and Palmer, 1966/67 & 1967/68
Was On the Ice during the Cuban Crisis, October,1962.A
very scary time for us, especially since many had recently
seen the film, "On the Beach." Regardless, an experience of
a lifetime. Better yet, "It was nice on the Ice, but it was
Peachy in Chi Chi!"
- Bob "Willy" Williams, PN3 (Summer, 1962/63)96-97 w/o last U.S. Navy to Winter-over at McMurdo.
I was the last CPO to be selected and initiated on
the ice. Operation Deep Freeze 96-97, the last w/o,
was by far the best duty station in the Navy. Please keep in
touch, Newby, Patti, Johnny
- Craig A. Mclain - "MAC" - Of the Famous Mac and Newby Show HMC (SW/FMF)
I was one of 3 helicopter pilots assigned to the
USCGC Northwind. Did Ice Recon, cargo and people hauling.
We flew Sir Raymond Priestly (English Geologist) out to Cape
Royds to see Shackleton's hut. We were able to go inside, but
there was a sense of reverence we didn't touch anything, and
just wrote our names dates and outfit on a piece of paper and
stuck it on a nail on the wall. I took over a 100 photos of
- John C. Burritt, LT USNR - 1958 - 1959 - Deep Freeze IV
Loved it, would like to go back to where life was
- Bob Lawyer, McMurdo & Pole
Being there the first time,,, You seem to dislike
it at the time,,, But once you are gone, You seem to realize
how good it was, Adventurous, The good of people and
a simple way of living...I should be back this year, but do
to work, I had to bypass....But it really gets into your blood,,
I miss a lot of you
- Mark Cardis, McMurdo, 2007 2008
Watching and photographing a Fur Seal giving birth
to twins at Schlieper Bay.
- Bob Bell, South Georgia, 1979
Replacing the Union flag with the Saltire on Saint
Andrew's day and feeding the base haggis neeps and tatties (Sunday
cook) on Burns night. Not too impressed! We also had
a Scottish night on board the Brannie. The classic fids tartan
shirts were made into kilts. You can imagine the different sporrans
that were on show!
- Dave Burke, Faraday 1981-1984
Walking away from the base on a clear morning, towards
Mt. Erebus. Took 2 cans of sprite, a couple of candy bars and
a camera. Took a great self portrait with Erebus in
the background, about 3 miles from the base. No sound. No civilization
to be seen for miles. Still, quiet. A certain "zen" feeling
was attached to that moment.
- Rodney "TJ" Petrin Jr. 1981 - 1986 McMurdo Station
Midwinter 1970.Wordie hut holiday from main base.
After clearing snow from inside door, having a brew
and thinking back to all the other guys years before who were
probably doing the same! wonderful experience.
- Mike Hinchliffe, Argentine Islands / Signy
Winter 1972, doing a 3-day trip around Signy - arriving
at Cummings, via Foca and Jebsen late in the afternoon, in the
mank. The hut then was no more than a dry-stone wall
with a metal roof. The door was only a board, and everything
inside was buried in snow. We dug out the sleeping bags and
primus and had a brew of nutty-bar, dried onions and peas and
then tried to sleep. It was -29F and we lay there in the snow,
in the dark, with the hoods of the green Everest sleeping bags
drawn so tight that only one nostril was exposed for air. I've
never felt so bloody cold as that night in a snow drift with
the wind blowing through the dry-stone wall. Getting out for
a pee and looking at the amphitheatre of black cliffs and snow
all around, lit up by the moon, the masses of bergs out in the
bay, the utter lifeless winter silence, and feeling that terrific
sense of good 'ents', knowing that this is one of those memories
that will last for ever.
- Tim Hooker, Signy
Lowering the Union Flag on the point next to the
tide gauge, watching the Ukrainians raise their yellow and blue
flag then taking the Tepco across to Wordie and raising the
Union Flag. Flying out in a Lynx to Endurance with
Base F/Argentine Islands/Faraday - disappearing into the clouds
- all very moving. 'Summer Jolly' on Barff Peninsula - a weeks
freedom from the radio comms! During the night (At the old Barff
Hut) you could hear the rumble of house-sized pieces of ice
breaking off the snout of the Nordenskjold Glacier at the head
of East Cumberland Bay! Several minutes later - the wave generated
by the ice washed up on the beach. So many other wonderful
memories of South G - I miss it so much!
- Jon Barker, 1972-74 South G (Base M)1974/77.
As an EDH on the Bransfield, I still look back with
humble pride and such a glow in my heart with all the memories
of the time we had, and friends I made among the crew
and the FIDS. Such as the day we where along side Haley bay,
or near by. It was early morning when the Ice shelf gave way
and slammed into the side of the ship buckling the port side.
We spend about 2 days clearing away the Ice from the deck. We
steamed out with 20-30 degree list to port There is more to
this story. Very close call!!
- David Lawson Crew, EDH (Bransfield)1973.
Driving the doo through winter Christmas cakes at
Mirounga at midnight to sample the poddies in Lake 2.Sitting
in the tent over the hole cut in the ice, pumping up water and
listening to the hiss of the Tilley lamp - alone at midnight
in the middle of nowhere, somewhere in the Antarctic, on a frozen
lake, under the black silhouette of Robin, and the stars gently
illuminating Coronation Island. And all was completely silent,
frozen in time, and so bloody cold, and so utterly utterly wonderful.
Thanks for letting me do that sample, Chris.
- Tim Hooker
4th. Dec 1967 Deception Island. Violent tremors suddenly
cease. Outside seeing column of ash rise above Chilean
Base PAC. Sulphur in the air.
- Robin Chambers
Of being in a place that was so new to people,
together with knowing that there was "NO BACKDOOR"
Life was real and wonderful.
- John Sutherland
Taking the Jesters sledging on smooth sea iceout
to Neptune's Bellows on Deception Island on a rare
brilliant white sunny day, and peaking out onto the ice-strewn
Bransfield Strait, August, 1964.
- Michael Warr
The roaring silence, deafening, a dark WINFLY evening,
at Hut Point watching the southern lights dance over the Royal
Society Mountain Range. My own breathing seemed like violation
of the pure silence of that astonishing, wonder filled place.
- Deena Petersen
Christmas day 1977 at South Georgia. I scored
an Hat-trick as we (Bransfield) beat the base 3-2 ! They hadn't
lost in 18 matches!! those were the days
- Tony Wegner
The first iceberg I saw and the last iceberg I saw.
Like going through some kind of doorway that you know
exists, but you don't know where it is until you're there on
the way down and until long after you've passed through on the
- Paul Ward
The rumble of avalanches, the whales blowing in Penola
straights, the grinding of the ice. That was Faraday,
- Dick Hide.
Standing atop Mt. Liotard, Adelaide Island.
2nd June 1970, Sun just visible as a pillar, pastel shades all
around, and CRAMPS in both legs at the same time!
- Robin Chambers
Christmas 1984, doing night watch at Signy base and
watching a young female elephant seal playing in the shallow
water between the end of the jetty and an old iron tank left
in the shallows, a relic of the old whaling station.
Peaceful and quiet, everyone else in bed, a rare clear and calm
night, the whole scene lit by the pinkish light from the sun,
drifting just above the horizon, at 2am in the morning.
- Ian Johnson