Tuesday, March 16, 2010
An Exciting Year for My Brother
In 1978, my brother took a sabbatical, of sorts, from the US Navy to be the "doctor" for Palmer Station, a science research center in Antarctica. He was there for about 13 months, being one of 9 that "wintered over." Just last night I ran into a web site in which one of the 9 had included records of those months. I have found them fascinating. Jerry is mentioned in most of them. You can read these "situation reports" - sitreps - by clicking on each date on the left column of his website which can be found here. Note: once the date opens the entry, do a left click on the small print to enlarge it. To read them in chronological order, begin at the bottom of the list. On the 12/12/79 entry, you can read about the Chilean submarine that was brought in by a Japanese film crew to shoot part of the movie, Virus. Also on this site is a photo of the 9 that "wintered over." You can click on Jerry's name to see a stand-alone photo of him. This individual returned to Antarctica for 19 additional years. Check it out on this site. His photos are very nice.
During the time Jerry was stationed there, he surprised us with phone calls - via phone patches done with ham radio. I'm sure Hans remembers this well; Peder and Heidi, I'm not so sure. It was a thrill for us to get that phone call - usually from someone in California - who "patched" us through to Jerry. Jerry would speak for a little bit, and when finished, would say, "over." Then we would talk, ending with "over." I believe we may have heard from him more that year than any other year of his Naval career. I'll never forget how excited we were when a package arrived from Jerry with sweatshirts and t-shirts from Palmer Station for my 3 kids. They proudly wore them often.