Sunday, December 09, 2007

Insomnia in the midnight sun

I'm broken. I've been on early shift this week, working 7:00-18:30, but for the first time on my life, I can't sleep. The new arrivals have brought a whole host of knocks, bangs and snores that travel through the building seemingly straight into my ears. Earplugs make little difference, but ironically, I've been sleeping much much better now the the wind's picked up to gale force, drowning out all the other noizes.

The office is now pretty much packed up and last night our band played a very successful gig in the garage. I've got some photos, but my camera battery's flat, so you'll have to wait to see them.

In the meantime, we got the good news that the Shackleton has loaded and left Cape Town and is steaming south a few days behind the German research ship Polarstern and not far off the South African Aghulas. We've been eagerly watching satellite images of the sea ice and making wagers on when the Shack' will arrive. The presence of the Polarstern has hotted up the betting. She's a much larger, heavier ship of Ice Breaker class, where as the Shack is a lighter Ice Strengthened vessel. Tom has worked on board carrying out aviation meteorology in the Arctic and is enthusiastic about the ease with which she can break through ice. If the Shack can follow her path, the odds may change significantly....

Click here to see where the ships are.
Or here to read more about Polarstern.


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