Antarctic Astronomy Diaries 2003/04

   

   
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Monday, January 12, 2004

11-12/1



I got words that Jon and Colin's plane is delayed to the 14th. This kind of
doesn't suit me because I had organized my work to have everything done by
the day they'd arrive. What I am going to do until then? Write papers I
guess. It's not that I have nothing to do; in fact I have plenty of things
to write. The problem is that I feel guilty sitting on the computer. I can
do that anywhere but being here has something special to it and I feel like
I need to go and do something outside or build something. Maybe I should
have brought Lego. Even the DIMM is working extremely well and requires less
and less human intervention. Eric is in the same situation as me. He is
waiting for some parts from Nice to put together the second telescope. Guess
who is carrying these parts: Jon again. So we both wait for him like some
sort of Messiah. You probably wonder how come Jon got the spare parts from
Nice. It turns out that amongst the Astrolabe passengers was a geologist
from Nice. Eric's colleagues found out this information and gave him the
parts before he left Nice. He then gave them to Jon who will carry them to
Dome C on the plane. Simple isn't it?



I also found out that my Sodar will follow a similar faith. Being
recalibrated in Paris, its town of origin, the Sodar will come to Dome C
before the end of the season. It is flying tonight to Christchurch in
New-Zealand where it will wait three days for Michael to pick up and take it
with him to Mc Murdo, the American coastal base in Antarctica. It will then
transit through Terra-Nova before eventually reaching Dome C. This last part
of the trip is usually the most uncertain and I have frankly no idea of its
exact date of arrival.



Weather wise, the sky continues to be cloudless. It is a pleasure to walk
outside even if the daytime temperatures are now reaching -30C. It reminded
me the end of last year, launching balloons at -50C. I am kind of glad that
someone else is doing it this year. In fact most of my work apart from
setting up the weather tower is inside. Most of the time, I am in T-shirt,
track pants and tennis shoos. It's not quite what I was wearing last year or
what people expect to wear in Antarctica. Dome C does not have extreme wind
conditions is therefore very friendly to human and telescopes. If the club
med wanted to open an hotel in Antarctica, I am sure they would chose Dome
C.




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