I should mention that the soccer game against the British took place on the runway of their airstrip. Imagine the ragtag team of American scientists and sailors skidding all over the loose-gravel runway, icebergs in the distance. Then imagine three penguins waddling into the middle of our game like a couple of miniature Charlie Chaplains, and the same ragtag team now shuffling around with arms outstretched to imitate the penguins’ “aggressive” stance, attempting to herd the little stubby-legged birds off the field in time for a plane to land.
“Totally surreal” would be the only appropriate way to summarize our visit with the British. Earlier that day, before the soccer game, a few of us drove in a Sno-Cat (picture Hummer-meets-snowmobile, if you’ve never seen a Sno-Cat) up a glacier to a nearby mountain pass with views of ocean in one direction and the iceberg-littered bay in the other. And that evening, the British hosted a party for us. Outside the Party Garage they’d parked the Bar-dozer: a front-end loader whose bucket had been filled with snow and packed with beverages.