Wednesday, February 21, 2007


Sleep is a problem at the South Pole. Due to the effective altitude of the Pole, there's much less oxygen available, so most people suffer from decreased sleep for at least the first couple of weeks. Some people develop a sleep apnea which could prove fatal. Fortunately, that's extremely rare.

I generally woke up at least once a night, but usually managed to get around 5-6 hours of sleep, and actually felt pretty good most of the time. One of my colleagues couldn't sleep more than 4 hours a night.

After leaving the ice, I've been under various stresses (worrying about lining up my travel and accomodations for the rest of the week, getting up early to catch the train, etc.) and didn't get a really good night's sleep.

Yesterday I arrived in Wellington after a nice train and ferry ride and after wandering around a bit and getting supper, I came back to my room, watched a bit of video on my computer, then fell asleep at around 9PM and didn't wake up until 6AM. It was GREAT! After waking up, I even laid in bed for a couple more hours, reading and listening to podcasts!

Then, to complete the morning, I took a shower! After weeks of 2 minute showers, I still feel a little decadent taking a lengthy 6 minute shower. I'm sure the feeling will wear off soon, but it's fun to get so much enjoyment out of a previously mundane task.

I've spent the morning reading email and webpages, and writing these blog posts. Now I'm going to grab some lunch and then head to Te Papa, the museum a few blocks from here.

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