Thursday, December 21, 2006

Skua Attack!

Yesterday I was coming out of the Galley with a plate of quesadillas and chocolate chip cookies balanced on two six packs of Guinness. A skua (think large sea gull) dive bombed me from behind and knocked the plate onto the ground. Fortunately, the plate was covered in saran wrap and survived the whole ordeal. And fortunately for the skua, the Antarctic Treaty prevented me from punting him like a football. I had to settle for muttering "piss off" and collecting my plate of food from the ground.

The beer that I was carrying was for Vanessa's going away party. She said that she didn't think I could drink a 6 pack of Guinness. And being young and dumb, I took up the challenge.

Now just a quick aside: this isn't normal Guinness, it's Guinness Foreign Extra Stout. Note the "Extra Stout" in the name. At 7.5%, I'm pretty sure this particular brew was chosen for it's "stoutosity" so it could be stored indefinitely. I would not be surprised if the beer was sledged here by Shackleton and left to "mature".

I'm normally no slouch when it comes to drinking beer, so despite Larry telling me (multiple times) that I'd regret it, I proceeded anyways. Did I mention that I'm dumb? The beer drinking part was fine. I made it through it without too much difficulty; I even drank an extra one just to spite Vanessa. I wasn't playing very good pool by the end, but then again I rarely play good pool even when I'm sober.

When I woke up, I was, as Davide would say, "destroyed". I had an absolutely epic Antarctic hangover. Who would have thought that drinking alcohol in a desert would leave you catastrophically dehydrated? A shower did nothing to improve the situation. There was a going away party for the teachers in the lounge when I got up. So when I showed up someone suggested the old 'hair of the dog' remedy. I don't know if it helped, but if it improved the situation at all, I'm pretty sure I couldn't have physically survived without it.

Work was interesting (in a masochistic sense). Since I was rather "fragile", I stayed away from doing anything high impact or technical. It was probably the longest shift in history. But everyone was pretty understanding; Larry didn't mention "I told you so" at all. I didn't start feeling human until after supper. Today I woke up feeling much better. So all in all, the saga is over. It's something I have no desire to repeat.

In other news, the bit is at around 1125m. They're currently tripping the pipe out to change the bit. We should be back drilling by tomorrow morning. We've still got about 100m of backlog, so it's nice to make up a bit of ground while the drilling is stopped. Tonight they crossed the 1000m mark into PSICAT. I played a little joke on the team, telling them that "I hadn't anticipated we'd actually make it to 1000m, so PSICAT can't handle 4 digit depths. It is ANDRILL's version of the Y2K problem." Everyone had a good chuckle.

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