Most new-hires for Antarctica positions ship out out in September/October. That means I’ve definitely missed the major 2016 season. However, there is a small contingent that will ship out for a winter-only season. These folks leave in February-ish. Is it highly likely that I will get a winter contract for my first contract? Hell no. (UPDATE August 2017. hahahahahahahahaha” That is all.) However, like always, I want to be prepared… just in case. This is a life-goal of mine. Getting prepped this year can’t hurt even if it’s 4 years before I actually get the job.
I spoke with a recruiter at the end of October who affirmed that they were done with new hires for the summer season (reminder: seasons are flip-flopped in the southern hemisphere) but that she would be posting all new positions 01 January 2017. This means that I need to have all of my resumes/application information ready to go before then. Luckily, I’m working from home almost all of December so I have plenty of time to work on this.
Here are some new notes I’ve made on life in Antarctica thanks to the sub-reddit and other forums:
- Don’t bother trying to use a Diva Cup. Packing one of these bad boys instead of packing a supply of tampons will save you space and money but the logistics of cleaning it in Antarctica aren’t worth the hassle. Also, they sell tampons etc. on base but there’s not the best selection and it’s all “super off-brand stuff that’s uncomfortable” so just bring your own. UPDATE: one of my colleagues uses one down here and doesn’t mind having it here. She just cleans it when no one else is around.
- Make sure to talk to your insurance about whether or not they will cover a year’s supply of birth control “before it’s needed”. Some will absolutely refuse no matter what the reason. Mine did. However, they DID approve me to get the Nexplanon arm implant which is better anyways and provides 4 years of protection.
- Don’t bother with a hair dryer. Yes, it’s cold, but the air is dryer so your hair dries faster. If you do need one, ask around or check in skua.
- “Some of the big telescopes hire sysAdmin/network engineer/software engineer/desktop tech hybrid types for winter” this isn’t exactly relevant to me but taking a few courses in it while I’m working on my tech degree couldn’t hurt…
- 68lbs for luggage, 15lbs for carry-on
- My most recent surgery will NOT dis-qualify me as long as I get checked again within a few months of leaving and everything passes. I can even have the same issue again and be fine. Woo hoo!!!