Yesterday after soccer, we decided to hit the sauna. Yes, there is a sauna for some reason on base. I think it's tradition. It's a really nice sauna. It could probably seat 8 comfortably. We cranked the sauna up to around 165. It really felt good, especially after playing soccer. After a little while, I decided to run outside just to see what it felt like. It was pretty cool. It was probably around -20 without wind (-35 with). Of course, I couldn't feel it. My whole body was steaming. When I came back into the sauna, the other guys commented that I was completely dry. In the 20 or so seconds I stood outside, I went from completely soaked to bone dry. Pretty crazy. It was a lot of fun. I'll definitely do it again. Maybe next time, I'll make a run for the pole!
During the winter, they usually try for a 300 degree club. They crank the sauna up to 200 and go outside when it's -100. Now that's nuts. I can't even imagine...
Things are progressing pretty well. 3 more team members arrived last week with our new focal plane. We've been working to integrate everything, and then put it in the cryostat. Should have that done by the end of today if we're dumb and work through dinner, or tomorrow if we actually take our well-being into consideration. I'm guessing we'll take the dumb route.
In other news, I should be home next week! I'm really excited to be leaving the ice. Don't get me wrong, coming to the South Pole is by far the most interesting thing that I've ever done, but I do miss civilization. And the ability to not be surrounded by work for 5 seconds. Not to mention my wonderful girlfriend, who actually put up with me going away for 6 weeks, and does not intend to kill me when I get back (so far as I know).
Tomorrow night is the open mic night, which was essentially the "let's have a concert before Jon leaves" concert. I'll be playing some solo stuff, then later, my violent femmes cover band will be closing the show. Hopefully everyone will be good and drunk and make the show a blast.