One more week (?)

John Jacobsen
Thursday, February 15, 2007

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Earlier post Closing Softly southpole

Later post One more day (?) southpole

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Figure 1: Winter-over Sven shuttles us out to the Dark Sector to move heavy stuff.

Eighth photo set is up.

Approximately one more week to go. Tonight I have to pack up my things and clean out my room. I’ll get to stay there, but with only one carry-on bag. The rest gets crushed onto a pallet for loading onto our Herc, whenever it arrives. Living out of a single bag – sort of like having your luggage lost on a ski trip (0.1” of powder, 2 miles of base).

To prevent us from getting lost and missing the last flight out, we’re supposed to carry radios around or stay near the all-call (PA system). When they tell us they’re yanking us out of here, we have to check in with comms so they know they don’t have to come roll us out of bed, dispatch search parties, etc. so the plane can leave on time. They don’t want to keep the plane here any longer than needed, partly, I think, out of concern for safety (the reason they don’t fly here in winter is that the cold doesn’t play well with various mechanisms on the planes).

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Figure 2: Newest part of the new station awaits its fancy dark-blue siding.

Various things are shutting down - midnight and Sunday meals, Post Office; store hours are reduced. Population is less than half what it was when I arrived. It will be less than a hundred after tomorrow, then 55 after we leave.

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Figure 3: Winter-over Claire salutes for the cause.

Work has been back and forth - it seems that every other day is a good day. We diagnosed one problem and Dave heroically spent 36 hrs implementing a fix. It helped, but just enough to uncover the next problem. More than ever it’s a race against time (against the weather, the flight schedule, our flagging reserves of energy). The soft close buys us a little extra time, which we certainly can use to get things into shape.

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Figure 4: Posing with an IceCube sensor in the counting house.

Earlier post Closing Softly southpole

Later post One more day (?) southpole

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