Friday, November 23, 2012

Waiting for the plane

A couple of days ago, Jacob and I had to do some work out at the IceCube Lab building (also known as the ICL.) We spent about 4 hours out there taking data from something called the Standard Candle, which involves a laser buried deep in the ice on one of the IceCube strings.

Just as we were finishing, about half an hour before they stopped serving supper, a plane landed to drop off and pick up some passengers and cargo. The runway is between the main station and the ICL, and so we wouldn't be abe to cross the runway if the plane was taking off. We waited in the ICL for a while, but the plane seemed to be taking a LONG time to load the passengers.

We finally grew impatient (and I was worried that we'd miss supper) and decided to walk back to the station. This sign is posted on the road between the station and the ICL and the beacon is a flashing light near it. As we got closer and closer to the sign, I kept waiting for the light to start flashing. After about 5 minutes we reached the sign and it hadn't started flashing!

We got a dozen steps past the sign and, of course, the beacon started flashing so we had to backtrack to the sign and stand there for 10 minutes or so while the plane taxied down the runway and flew off to McMurdo.

We got back to the station about 5 minutes after dinner finished but fortunately they hadn't taken away the food so we got to enjoy slightly dried out salmon fillets. Whew!

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