Monday, July 09, 2007

The Light!


What a cool date the 07/07/07 is...


This is memorable why...


We joined Nathan and visited Arrival Heights, not sure of the original reason but it was a fun trip for a Saturday afternoon. This is a collection of scientific buildings behind McMurdo. We think it is called Arrival Heights as Shackleton's men were reported to have waited there for the others to return. Observations undertaken there are various forms of ozone sampling, some surface ozone and other gases like methane and carbon dioxide levels. Over winter the moon is used as a light source for measuring UV and infrared absorption levels and measures the amount of gasses in the atmosphere. Also pulsations in the Earths magnetic field are recorded as are high atmosphere winds of up to 130 miles and so on....


Anyway...


The light, we have seen the light. There was light enough to make out the Royal Societies (Mountain Range) and a golden smudge on the horizon. The sun is returning and we can't believe it. May and June are over as they are reported to be the longest and darkest months and we have survived, thanks to salt and vinegar crisps and wine.


The other activity that will help me through the last six weeks is contributing to the wine bottle mountain started by Fiona and I at about week one. There will soon be Black Island, White Island and (Green) Wine Bottle Island out there on the ice shelf...you think I'm joking. We thought we'd enter it for an art prize. Although the Portage Awards stipulate that it has to be fired clay - back to plan B: Ceramics


The real activity that is absorbing me of late - ceramics. Lots of art and ceramics are being made at Mactown as I now have a deadline to work towards and some ideas, yes more skeletons and dead blubber.


Enthusiastic intentions for the next six weeks are:




  • The gym three times a week...Ha!


  • Ceramics studio twice a week...more than likely...


  • The Southern Bar at McMurdo despite the smoke...most likely...


I can't believe that Dick Frizzell enjoyed drinking the Antarctic Pinot Noir as it is truly vile, it's no longer red it's been down here so long.


Also we have moved into the newly refurbished kitchen and it's really nice. The portable kitchen that we used for five months has now been dismantled and the area next to our conservation room is back to housing machinery and trucks.


The good thing is I can now get an evening cup of tea easily as my room is now near the kitchen and I no longer have to walk the length of the base. The bad part is the diesel fumes from the dockway into our workspace, at the end of the day my clothes and hair smell of diesel which I guess is slightly better than 100 year old kippered herring and/or smoke from the Southern Bar.

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