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Friday, August 13, 2010

Another night in the boonies

The fog has lifted - just a bit. About a mile vis, lots of crosswind. No aircraft available - we are to call Polar Shelf again in an hour. Still a chance we could get out today but I think it's slim.

The best laid plans - while setting up to send the last one via Iridium I discovered that when I loaded the Sailmail application into this computer for this trip I forgot to transfer Berrimilla's address book and Sailmail only recognises addresses in its address book. And the blog address is complicated and I could not remember it - senile old fart that I am. So a phone call to my sister Isabella in the UK and she fired up my Gmail account and extracted the address from that. Egg all over face, but embarrassment tempered by fix.

The Humvee is jacked up on blocks for the winter - but not yet sealed. The mess tent still has power, the Palace of the Imperial Throne is cold and windy but functional - makes one wonder how the Franklin and Shackleton people managed in the icy and open conditions they faced, and for months at a time. The parts shrivel in sympathy! And I think about the need to go outside the shelter to empty the pee bucket on Elephant Island (and what to do about those who cheated) and I wonder how I would have survived - if at all. Hmm.

Everyone finding things to do - watching movies on their laptops, sleeping, writing blogs...again, how did the early survivors cope with the unknown - how long would it last; how to pass the time, day after day; peoples' idiosyncrasies that are ok when things are going well but grate under stress.

So who is left here - Steve Braham's team of communications heroes: Steve, resident super boffin, Parna, Isiah and Vik; the support team of John Schutt - amazing man and central pillar of the camp (Google him - astonishing career) with Jesse and Travis and the three kids hired from the Grise Fiord Community - Ben, Terry and Salya; then there's Geoff, the cook who now has no kitchen and Pascal and me. And, of course, Ping Pong.

Just heard no flights today - if we are lucky, then early tomorrow. We have all day to get to Resolute and load the Herc. Vancouver Saturday evening if all goes well.

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