Nandor, the recycling technician who sailed north five days ago, has an arm like a bazooka. The days before he sailed home cleared up a bit and left  perfect powder snow… makes for an alright snowball. 

    But Nandor manages to fire them off one after another almost always meeting his targets while the rest of us shoot puffs of snow in his direction. He left on a fishing trip at the beginning of last week and built an arsenal on the research ship’s (Laurence M. Gould’s) deck, which he pelted people on shore with as the boat pulled away. Many people have been hammered by this guy throughout the season, especially recent times. One day he got me in the face knocking my glasses off. I felt like the boy in a Christmas Story, “My eye, my eye…” though no harm done.

     To make it fair, we decided to mount an attack as a group rather than individually, after the fishing trip came back to station. First I cleared the walk way of snow between GWR and Bio (the one feature in the video for “Who runs this place anyway”). Then we organized, regrouped in strategic locations and built a stock pile of snowball ammunition. After a bit we called him to GWR on the radio and requested his assistance.

     This man loves to work, so he was promptly out the galley door onto that walk way. Unfortunately Nandi  is savvy too. As he stepped outside and the door locked behind him he knew what was up, ducking behind the grill as a barrage of snowballs pounded the wall. No matter what we did we couldn’t hit him, he caught our snowballs and threw them back at us. In a last ditch effort we started shoveling snow on top of him and dumping it from the rooms above. I think I hit more of my cohort than I did him.

    The past week has been bitter sweet with all the familiar faces leaving, as Maggie described in her last post. Seems like there have been an onslaught of activities going on that we’ve been meaning to do for ages. Snow ball fights, photos, and dancing.

   The activity that has been most memorable to me is re-learning how to print and develop black and white film with Zee, who has been the summer coordinator for the facilities (FEMC) crew. We were roommates in the beginning of the season and have been meaning to work in the dark room together for a long time.

     Finally we got together this week and Zee took the new head cook (Keith) and me on a short tutorial of the stations Dark Room. She is the only person I have seen using the facilities, but it is set up for everyone with instructional books, photo paper and all the chemicals and tools needed to develop and print black and white film. There’s even a radio with a tape deck (yippee) so we can listen to music and books on tape while working.

     This continent seems to be the perfect place to work with black and white film. Considering landscapes here are already set in the hue they will be printed in, contrast is easy to figure out. I feel like using film here is much more exciting and gratifying than a digital image. Going through all the motions of developing and manipulating your exposure to get to get the perfect image is quite unlike photo shop. You feel an attachment to the results, albeit they may not be the best, and something about the image makes you feel that you’ve captured a moment, made history. Of course this could just be me; I am still fond of tapes.

    I’m attaching some of the prints I have made to this blog, photos of photos which were taken during the good bye week, most of them of our group working or people around station. This also happened to be the only week of our season that Dr. Bill Baker from University of South Florida joined us. He’s in one picture, the grumpy guy in the bow of the Zodiac jokingly saying “NO photos!!”  With him he brought good weather and loads of diving.

    This week our version of the continent has gone back to its normal state. But the days are getting shorter. More black than white.