Antarctic Astronomy Diaries 2003/04

   

   
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Saturday, January 17, 2004

Saturday 17th

Hey All,

sorry I didn't get around to writing yesterday, it was a hectic one. The morning was an excruciatingly early one again, even more painful being a Saturday, so I could meet the carpenter guys to move the electronics and monitors from the AASTO to the warm hut a 1km away. All of the track vehicles (the only ones that can make it out to our building) have broken in the decreasing temperatures so the only choice was to cushion and wrap everything *very* carefully, and take a long slow snowmobile ride to the dark sector. The two guys, Dave and Rosco, who came out to help are the Station clowns - they had me in stitches as I packed everything up. I insisted on sitting on the sled to hold everything in place. As I sat down on a crate, and they used cargo straps to hold everything down, suddenly they roped a loop of cargo strap over me and the crate and tied me to the sled!

Even my hands were pinned and they thought this hilarious as we drove over to the warm hut. I couldn't help but laugh. It was a cold, blowing snow day and I was pretty chilled by the end of it, but everything (including living cargo!) arrived in one piece. Then a science meeting and a debrief of my last two weeks with the science leaders, and suddenly it was late afternoon. I had been invited to a BBQ the carpenters were holding and I took over a case of beer as thanks for all their help. It was a merry event - even to inclusion of a frisbee throw with a few people outside. A deceptively still day and I walked out in only a light shirt and rugby top and no gloves. I felt ok for about fifteen minutes before realising I was *really* cold (it was about -35C). Back inside I soon thawed out, and then with a few people we rollicked on over for the Saturday night "Open Mike" night in the Galley.

Those who know me well realise how shy I can be about my singing, so I was quite amazed at myself when along with the guys I'd been jamming with for a week, I got up and sang about eight, nine songs during the night. Everyone was very polite, even enthusiastic (at least nothing hard was thrown at the stage). It was a lot of fun and the talent was varied (spoken verse, to naughty limericks, to a full highland reel on bagpipes!) and late in the evening we descended into three-guitar, and vocal jamming blues till about 1am. Great stuff. It was nice to hear some people lament that I wouldn't be here for the end-of-season party to sing with the full band. I told them I was up for it and will hide in the AASTO, if they sneak me cookies and beer for two weeks, while swearing they saw me get on the plane... Only kidding, boss.

take care all
Jess


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