Antarctica

Week 54 Crazy week

22nd October - 29th October 2000

Station opened on time - as you know - on Monday. It's been crazy ever since. I've only slept in the same place twice. Thanks to work and play I'm now complete exhausted. I'm just finishing up some stuff. Then I'm supposed to write my final winter NSF report. But it's 3am and I'm far too tired. I'll finish up and go sleep in Sky Lab - if no one is there! \#\%\$\@\@ Bloody hell I hate printing on UNIX systems (please see chapter 25 of the red book).

Life of course is completely different now. Get some food - go hide in the bar and eat with all the other WOs. Took quite a few days for FNGYs to confidently come into the bar. There are some very familiar faces, who I'm glad to see. My replacements are great blokes. Extremely competent. Hope I've done enough for them to hold out for 3 weeks till I get back and fix all the problems I know are still around.

We bag dragged this afternoon. This is unusual for leaving the pole. Since we have no cargo we're not likely to be anywhere near over weight for the aircraft. Not sure why we had to do it. Was a real pain. Not very happy with the new cargoids, who are real smart arses. Some from last year, so they think they're old hands and can run the place. They got quite a reaction in the galley when they announced they weren't picking up luggage for a flight with 30 winterers on it. They came and got our bags.

Our re-deployment (that doesn't sound the right word) meeting is at 9am. I took the Nansen sled out to the pole after coming back from Mapo at midnight. So things are ready. We uncovered Rodney during the week. Half an hour before arrival we'll put him on the sled, and then put him aboard after the PAX are taken away.

The flight is scheduled to arrive at 11am. We will have a C-141 waiting for us to take us straight through to CHC. It's 3 1/2 hours to MCM, and then 5+ hours to CHC. With other stuff we should get in just before mid-nigh. Could be worse.

I'll be in CHC for about 10 days. Then I'll be staying in a house with some other polies, near Rodney's family, until the funeral. I'm due to arrive back at pole on the 24th for a few more weeks. Then I finally escape and meet up with Helen before Christmas.

I'll be on the move a lot until I get back. So I'll be hard to contact. I'll try and check my email - which has been re-directed to my Madison account. I also have a yahoo account (@yahoo.com), which I'll check.

Bloody hell I'm tired. Time to try and get a nap in before starting again. Got the CDs burnt. Maybe I'll have time to do the report tomorrow morning.....

If you're in CHC on Tuesday, at lunch time I'll be in a nice cafe (NOT a polie hang out) with a huge salad and an Australian beer in front of me. Come and say g'day. But don't arrive too early because I'm going to have a very long shower that morning.

To be continued .......

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