Saturday, 10 December 2011

A surprisingly good day

Saturday consisted of that most frustrating of reasons not to fly: bad weather forecast. In reality, it started out lovely, got a little foggy, and ended the day in the sunshine again. However, we were grounded.

I decided some drastic exercise was needed (food is still amazing, this evening was very very good roast duck with port wine reduction), so I headed out for a walk. I set out for the 'hill', but a pylon beyond tent city caught my eye, so I headed out there first. Excitingly (a) it turned out to be the old drill rig from the ice core that was drilled here, the data from which I use in my work, and (b) there is a geocache there - look up Byrd Surface Camp on the geocaching website. Nice, ticked off one of the hardest ones first!

I headed onwards to the hill, where there are a series of lumps, bumps, holes and snow cliffs created when they extracted the camp equipment at the end of the winter (the camp is completely pulled down at the end of each season, but all the equipment is stored in the snow over winter). I spent a fun half hour jump off all the cliffs and generally running around having fun. Best of all I found a pippa-high 'fin' of snow which I managed to climb on top of and balance; I'll upload the video when I get back to real internet.

It was still only 9:30am at this point, so I offered my services to the camp staff for the rest of the day, and spent and enjoyable few hours digging flags and cargo straps out of the snow where they'd been left behind. Word got around and the chef gave me extras for my services :-)

We made use of the sunny evening by practising building a GPS install:
metal frame, upon which is mounted solar panels, wind turbines, and a box full of batteries, which then all have to be wired together with the GPS circuit board. All ready for some good weather now...they're flying out a replacement twin otter on Monday so hopefully there'll be more action next week.

The day ended with the aforementioned duck, an evening of merry socialising, and an impromptu recital of fiddle (not me) and guitar music. All good fun, but I hope we get more 'proper' work done soon.

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