Antarctic Astronomy Diaries 2002/03

   

   
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Monday, December 02, 2002

3. Coincidences

3 Dec 2002 - Paolo G. Calisse, Christchurch, NZ

today they called me at 5:15am to tell that the flight to the ice was cancelled. Anyway, it looks like tonight at 7pm there is a chance to fly down for 15 people, and I'm on the list. I usually apply the most conservative approach: I trust on it only when the crew ask us to get back to our seats as we are preparing for landing.

Anyway, I can't complain very much. This morning, at about 5:20am, I was already sleeping and dreaming penguins and so on. other times I wandered for hours at the Antarctic Terminal (a large room where people wait to board on the flight) for hours, dressed in the Extreme Weather Gears in the sun of a New Zealand summer, before to be told that "the flight is cancelled till tomorrow". Other time, we got half a way to Antarctica, and than, suddenly, we experience a change in the aircraft attitude, the sun light circle formed by the image of the window in front of you start to run on the body of the aircraft, and you understand that something went wrong, and you are trapped in a so-called "boomerang flight", that means there is no clearance for landing and you have to get back to Christchurch.

This is the worst situation, because just after a few hours, you have to board again, because, maybe, there is another flight ready. You are tired, a bit upset, and the accomodation in the aircraft is not first class like.

However, we will have some time to sleep a little bit more, to wonder in time, and spend some time arranging the ideas and studying documentation.

By the way, I recall I still have to justify the title of this diary entry. Well, yesterday, I went with the group of astrophysicists waiting for deployment to a pub in town. I noticed a young couple with a 2-3 years old daugher, with the air of people travelling.

As I miss a lot my son, I like people travelling, and I like... chatting, I approached the little nice kid and started to chat, to discover his father, a dutch, was a crew member on the boat that brought me to Antarctica in 1991. I couldn't recognize him, and probably meet him once or two times, as he was the chef-assistance on the boat, and travelling in the screaming sixties doesn't make you very motivated to enjoy the food. Anyway, it looks really increadible to find out you are sitting down a meter apart from someone you shared 20 days of navigation, 12 years before, in the Antarctic sea, on board of a Dutch boat hired by the Italian Antarctic Program, don't you think?

Paolo

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