This week we celebrated the winter solstice with a midwinter dinner amongst other things. This celebration has a significant history behind it reaching as far back as the first group of explorers to experience a winter in the Antarctic. We received over 30 invitations to other midwinter celebrations from more than 10 countries with bases in Antarctica, each invite with its own bit of personality and flair. As tempting as some were, we all “decided” to stay in and celebrate here at Casey. Dress was formal for some, less formal for others. Mood was cheerful for all and after weather delayed our midwinter swim we were ready for a bit of excitement.
We did pause a moment to remember the Canadian aircrew who perished this year in the Twin Otter as well as those before them who lost their lives in this harsh environment. And then we honoured them with festivities they all would have appreciated. Food started arriving at the table around 4pm and didn’t stop until after 10pm with 12 courses total to enjoy. This day was an easy victory for the chef (and so close to the monthly weigh-ins, oh no).
With our bellies full of Scotty’s delicious creations we exchanged gifts. There was an amazing amount of effort put into the “secret Santa” exchange and the skills of some of these guys were on full display. It was a great night overall. It was a time to reflect on what we’ve accomplished so far, and a night on which we could start to look forward to warmer weather and longer days. I felt proud to be a part of this group, indebted to those who paved the way for us to have this opportunity, and I also felt very, very full! The chatter slowly quietened and everyone drifted off to their rooms, probably thinking as I was: half-way there.