Thursday, January 20, 2011


Cartoon courtesy of Matt Davidson

The R&R program (Rest and Recuperation) is now in
full swing and Winterovers that have been here all
summer and will be here during the upcoming winter
are heading north to Christchurch for a week away
from the Ice. Here's the part where I sound like
an old fogey (or at least an Old Antarctic Explorer)!
When we wintered, one didn't get any R&R. You came
down in August or October, and were here for the
duration...the whole way until the following August
or October. None of this namby pamby R&R stuff.
However, for our first couple of winters, the company
gave us a "Continuation Bonus" of $1000, which to me
seemed like a much better deal. Now, you get to leave
for a week or so, but you don't get paid for it and it
costs you even more since the American Dollar exchange
rate is so crummy in Christchurch. I also thought that
if you got back to New Zealand and saw all of the green
grass, trees, fruits and vegetables, you wouldn't want
to come back and wintering would be that much harder.
Naw...I'm not a proponent of R&R-ing.


Benjamin said...

While R & R wasn't offered on either of the times that I did 14 month stints, I always believed that it should be offered. I am glad that they offer this once again for those crazy bastards that do that long of a season. I DO wish that they would offer the $1000 long duration bonus again, though. Yet another thing that has been taken away from us.

Lori Murray said...

Wow, that is a change. I don't know about it either. I'm afraid if I left for a week, I'd stay in CHC.

John Cassidy, Jr. said...

I did two 14 month stints. One in '08 with no R&R and then a second stint in '10 where I went on R&R. The nice thing was to go and relax a week without work and take a vacation and I went whale watching with several other R&R participants. I actually did some shopping and hand carried down items that couldn't be mailed down due to refrigeration issues. I was able to eat my traditional birthday dinner that I otherwise wouldn't have been able to do. Others brought supplies to make sushi. If it came down to it I would prefer the R&R instead of the sign-on bonus (I didn't get that in '08). We did have some that didn't come back from the greener pasture but not many did that to us.