South Pole Diaries 1999/2000    

   

6th January:

From Jessica:

Hello all,

firstly, thanks to everyone who has sent mail - please keep it up, it's great to read! I've discovered this really neat trick. If I walk outside for a little while and then pinch my nose, my nostrils stick together, and make me look kind of like a synchronised swimmer, only without the nose-plug. It's pretty gross. I'm sure your lives are all enriched after that little tidbit of information.

Andre turned up around lunch time yesterday, which was great, and we trudged out to see the AASTO yesterday evening. Bob Spotz has done an amazing job cleaning the place up, but the place is still needing a bit of work, not to mention carpet. The good news is that I have retrieved the semi-mythical Remtech SODAR manual!!! Unfortunately, it has been somewhat converted to a mixture of paper-fluoride/ paper-chloride, but I plan to make several copies of the thing, a couple of which will return with me to Oz.

We achieved a critical mass of Australians around the dinner table last night with two of the AMANDA guys, Darren somethingorother (the AMANDA winteroverer) a Queenslander, and Gary thingamagig, from ADELAIDE!!! AND he's a Crows fan!!!! He even had the 1997 premiership t-shirt on. We played a game of pool after that with Adelaide rules (the yanks have some strange rules), which I lost quite dismally. As a physicist, I have no excuse for being as bad at pool as I am.

We are running around this morning trying to get paint, carpet and a number of other things. Brett says our conduit should be here, but we have yet to locate it. I am looking forward to getting out to the AASTO, and having a look at the new shafts drilled for the AMANDA project. They are deploying the detectors into them today - the shafts are two kilometres deep! That would be something to see. They are the deepest ice shafts in the world apparently.

I accidentally sat with the cargo guys at lunch yesterday. That is, I sat down, and then they came and sat with me. My nickname is now "Australia". Oh, the thought processes that went into that one. I suggested that Jess was probably easier, as it only had one syllable, but this didn't get through. They are really going to be stuffed when Jill gets here. They're friendly though, and have been good with the cargo, so I won't pull out the electric cattle prod just yet.

Andre is having problems with his laptop at the moment, and is pestering a poor computer girl to death next to me. So he has told me to pass on any other news. Andre is thinking that the AASTO has sunk to concerning levels, and we might want to think about having it hoisted up a foot or two, as well as excavating a little snow from the front side of it. The webcam looks to have gone offline when Bob Spotz put the heaters in, and Andre will bring it back on line today, if he can. Today, we will list things to do, as well as an inventory of AASTO parts and components. We might even start to splash some paint around. The AASTO floor is a little dangerous, with only sticky underlay down. If you stand in one place for too long and then go to move, you list forward without your feet moving, like in one of those black-and-white comedy movies. When you do peel the soles of your boots off, the floor makes this "ssschlruurp" sound, like mushy velcro.

I'm going to go and chop off my nose because it's driving me bonkers.

Smiles,

Jess ( aka. Australia) :)

 

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