Tuesday, February 03, 2004
This is my last day at Dome C. Tomorrow morning at 4am the plane will take me back to DDU, leaving more space in the AASTINO for Jon and Colin to finish the job in the two extra days that they have. The good news is that we are more or less done. There are still a few tests to be done but as a whole I think we have put together every new instrument and made all the upgrades we had scheduled to make. Yesterday we gave a good clean to the interior and I took down the tent that we used for storage. The SODAR is singing as it should, the MASS is tracking the star with acceptable accuracy for now and the AWS is already recording data. Structurally the AASTINO looks much better than last year, partly because of the shiny electronics and the new cable tray installed by Colin. I will be a bit sad to leave Simone behind. She will have a very lonely winter with the supervisor computer as single company.
This last day is not quite what I expected since I am scheduled to do the dishes today. Thank god we eat Crepes tonight. It will minimize the number of dishes and will also be a very enjoyable last meal. Packing up is also taking a lot of time. Since I leave with 7 other people, the washing machines are used continuously. I have to make sure I don't forget anything behind because there is no second chance after the station is closed down at the end of the week. Already the camp is half empty I think we must be about 25 people left (a good thing for the dishes). I think I will spend some time tonight taking some last pictures and footage as I am not sure to come back next year. It's funny how quickly you get used to this kind of trip.
I will have six days at DDU before the Astrolabe takes me back to Australia. I am not too worried about getting bored there. I brought a lot of work with me and when I get sick of working I will just need to walk outside and enjoy the panorama.