Friday, November 03, 2006

A day in the life...

Things are looking up around here. They should have started cementing the sea riser in while I was asleep today. This means that if everything goes to plan, we should start getting a more steady stream of core to log. It'll be slower at first since we're going through soft stuff but once we hit the lithified stuff, we're looking a 30-40 meters a day.

On Monday, I'm scheduled to go on a helicopter ride to the Dry Valleys for a field trip. As the name implies, the Dry Valleys get virtually no snow or moisture of any kind. I guess they are quite amazing so I'm glad that I was able to get to go and visit them. So expect some pictures early next week.

Things around work are pretty much the same as before--no core so there's a limited amount of things to do. Fortunately I have some coding on PSICAT that can be done as well as some work on a paper for class. I've settled into a pretty steady routine that should keep up until we're done coring in late December. Below is a snapshot of my day:

7:30PM: Wake up when my room mate, John, gets home
7:45PM: Go to the gym and workout for an hour or so
9:00PM: Shower and head into work
9-10PM: Fix any problems with the blogs and check my mail
10:00PM: My shift starts. If there is core, I start processing the images so they can be displayed on the Corelyzer system. Get the sedimentologists set up for logging with PSICAT.
12-1AM: Midrats
1-6AM: Work on various things, answer any questions that the sedimentologists have about PSICAT.
6-7AM: Breakfast
7-8:30AM: Wrap things up from the night. Fix any problems with the blogs.
8:30-9:30AM: Co-Chiefs meeting.
9:30-11AM: Science team meeting.
11AM-12 or 1PM: Fix any day shift issues and then head home to bed.

All in all, I like the schedule. Here's what I like about it:
  • The people on night shift are great. We always have a good time.
  • It's quieter, so you can get more work done.
  • The meals are less crowded.
There are a few downsides, though:
  • Not as much variety in meals. Midrats is usually pretty hit or miss. Some nights it is awesome; some nights it is pretty eh. Fortunately you can always make a bowl of cereal or a sandwich. And my other meal is at dinner time for me but at breakfast time for everyone else, so I usually have eggs.
  • Fewer social opportunities. We missed the station's Halloween party because we were working and I think we miss out on a fair amount of social interaction with the day shift.
As you can probably tell, there is a lot of emphasis put on the meals. The food is neither exceptionally good nor exceptionally bad. When you're cooking for a couple hundred people, it's hard to make sure all of the food is cooked perfectly and accommodate a variety of tastes. The meals are the major gathering times for people so they factor highly into Antarctic life.

In the end, it's an awesome experience and definitely worth it. I'm missing home a bit, but I know I'll be home soon enough so I might as well experience as much as I can. And when the core starts pouring in, we won't have time to miss home because we'll be too busy.

No comments: