Saturday, November 7, 2009

Waiting On WAIS Divide

Today is Sunday. We are one day ahead and six hours behind Eastern Standard Time right now. If it is noon Sunday here, it is six pm Sat. in Cincinnati. I am emailing you from the future, put it looks pretty much just like the past. Everyone loves Sun. because it is most peoples only day off. There is a big brunch on Sundays from 10:30 till 1:00. People go skiing, hiking, or just relax and watch movies. A lot of people have been out late on Sat. night blowing off steam after a 54 hour/six day work week. There are two bars and a coffeehouse/wine bar which is a nice alternative to the bars. There is a huge amount of carpenters this year, although some have already left for the south pole. We topped out at 65, but there will probably be less than a handful here during the winter. One of the things that the carps do is put in, maintain and take out the deep field camps. I am probably leaving tuesday for the WAIS Divide field camp put in and will be gone at least two weeks. It is about 800 miles from McMurdo out on the West Antarctica ice sheet. I think WAIS stands for West Antarctica Ice Survey. It is where the researchers drill deep and take ice core samples as a record of changes in Antarctica. It is a 3 1/2 hour ride on a air force Hercules (or Herc) C-17 prop plane. I flew out of Christchurch, NZ on a bigger C-130 airforce jet. They are basically big, loud military cargo planes. We were suppose to leave a week ago to go to WAIS, but we keep getting delayed because of weather. There is a lot of hurry up and wait going on here. I may or may not be flying this Tuesday. I'll be there for 2-3 weeks or longer. Sometimes because of bad weather you can get stuck at field camps for a long, long time. It is advisable to bring along a good book, some good beer or both.

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