Monday, January 7, 2008

Winging off into the white

OK, so big news from yesterday was that a skua gull showed up here at Pole around dinner time. A guy at my table spotted it out the window out by the NOAA meteorological tower, and the whole galley was up and looking out the windows at the first critter (at least I'd seen) since early October in New Zealand. It's probably not going to survive the flight back to the coast where food can be found, but it's still an impressive feat of endurance flying in these temperatures at high altitude.

This morning, in just about 1.5 hours we'll start loading cargo onto our Twin Otter aircraft for the flight to AGAP South deep field camp. We're right at our weight limit, so (I don't know how we'll be able to do it) may have to weed out some of the gear to leave behind. It will be approximately 2.5 hours via plane to the camp from the Pole, and then we're tentatively scheduled to come back sometime tomorrow (Wednesday for us) evening. I have exactly the same feeling I always had before a big football game, exam, or the start of a trip overseas: my mind is playing through all sorts of scenarios about what could possibly go wrong that we'll have to overcome, what will probably go alright, what issues with my team we might encounter, what issues we'll face with camping there overnight, et cetera. I slept just fine last night, but woke bolt upright at 4 o'clock and started finishing off my packing.

I'm pretty sure we won't have any cyberspace connectivity while at the camp, so I'll get you updated once we return (victorious).

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