For Berrimilla's first circumnavigation, the International Space Station
and the North West Passage, go to

Monday, August 16, 2010

More photos

Today, DV & WP - C130 to Vancouver, then to Moffett Field tomorrow. Oh Joy - United have changed my ticket (and waived the fee!!) to allow me to fly back to Sydney from SFO.

Would be a real blast if the weather is clear and we can retrace some of Berrimilla's track from two years ago on the way to Yellowknife.

Resolute! Thanks all round.

By the skin of our teeth as it were. Rescued by a Government Inspector, no less, who blew in in an empty aircraft to do a routine inspection and lifted the 7 of us who have to get somewhere else urgently out of HMP. Thanks!

Sad to leave the Crater - a very special week with some very special people out in the boonies. Thanks Pascal and all y'all on the project.

And thanks to Steve J, who, I understand, has cleaned up the website  yet again while I fiddled in the background.

I now must do a search for flights that will get me to the Church aka Ottawa Airport on time. Complicated as I have to decide where to get off the C130 and I don't yet know when we will leave tomorrow.

If I can keep my eyes open after that, I will put the rest of my photos on picasa.

Antsy and downto the wire...

Still beside the Crater. 11 antsy people, some way more so than others, and Pascal and me - we all know that we may yet be here for another 10 days - each of us coping with our own mental agendas as we create our own little areas of turbulence or calm in the ghostly skeleton of the camp. Ping Pong in charge, her ears in full attention and brain in gear - I'm sure she has a Plan!

The weather is now just inside the marginal for flying - we've been keeping hourly skeds with Polar Shelf in Resolute - "Ok - 350 to 500 ft, no precipitation, vis 4 miles...seems to be breaking up in the lower layer - we can see the sun's disc - we can see the upper level cloud through the gaps - back to 300 ft, rain, no breaks - looking better to the west - call back in an hour while we check the satellite data - seems to be clearing over the Wellington Channel...". And so it goes.

Right now, Resolute has the first signs of a real break and it's moving towards us...we'll call you again in an hour...

I wrote earlier about the geological treasure chest we are living in. HMP have lent me some samples of breccia and shatter cones (at 39 million years old) and a bit of fossilised coral from a 450 million year old Barrier Reef to show to schools in Australia and perhaps to generate projects and experiments for the camp as contributions to the space program. Physics, medicine, communications, geology, astronomy - anything relevant to the space program is ok. Just keep it simple and focused. If there are any teachers reading this - get in touch! HMP would be especially pleased to have Australian schools involved.

So we mingle and dissipate and find things - mindless things, often - to do to pass the time. Almost everything except toilet paper is packed away - the kettles are still cooking water, the little generator makes this email possible, last minute jobs await the departure of the plane from Resolute - or not. Almost the last job will be bearproofing the Humvee as far as is possible. I have seen photos of the devastation caused by a hungry bear and it's astounding. This particular bear probably departed on a caffeine high judging by the state of the instant coffee jars. The camp has learned from that experience and now stores remaining food in the Humvee and locks and cargo straps it. Even so, a bear nearly got through last year by distorting an aluminium door.

My bags are packed, for the fourth time, and this bit of bloggery is a time sponge. If we don't get out this afternoon, I must cancel my return flight to Sydney and plead with United to let me rebook it. That will be an interesting discussion. I can hear the rain clattering on the tent - not looking good...Hanging in for that break over Wellington to come this way...