söndag 1 mars 2009

Snow blizzard

Yesterday we experienced a proper snow blizzard.. we had winds of 60 mph (28 m/s for all Europeans and other sensible people) and snow, the whole building was shaking and we had to spend a couple of hours closing up the window again that blew open! I've made it into a habit to go outside every hour to check on the weather and aurora, for our updates from here to the rocket people down at Poker Flat, but yesterday I just turned in the door, it was impossible to even step outside. So we spent the evening monitoring the rocket progress without being able to take part much, and then watching 'North to Alaska', an old John Wayne movie from 196o - a film where men are fist-fighting rough heroes and women are deceptive and silly (oh, and beautiful obviously)... Not the best film I ever saw, but I've been humming on the theme song ever since!

Today we had to face the consequences after the blizzard... Our boxes had been filled with snow, even though they were covered up, and then the snow melted since we have heaters inside them... so when we opened the guppy box today there was 2 cm of water on the bottom! We spent the rest of the evening taking things inside and getting everything dry again (we managed to fix a broken transformer to the mount by applying some female touch.. that is, using the hairdryer!) and in the end everything worked, hurrah! The time really does pass quickly although we are just waiting. But doing anything up here takes 3 times as long.. For example, all the work on pointing the boxes in the right position was useless, since the blizzard had blown them down anyway today! So just to start over... I have no photos to put out here from the blizzard, it's kind of hard to catch on camera, and Tobbe wouldn't let me take a photo of him using the hairdryer on the transformer PCA... But I do have a photo of the boxes with some aurora that I took two nights ago. That night we had brilliant aurora, and we kept observing lots of black aurora and other sweet things until the sun came up again.. Unfortunately they couldn't launch the rocket that night either, they were out for winds (it was too windy in the atmosphere for the rocket).

From left to right: Alvis, guppies, Blvis, house. From top to bottom: Sweet aurora, fainter arc in the distance, our boxes with cameras.

So, we are still here, still waiting. We've rebooked our flights so right now we have tickets to come home on 15 March.. Let's see if that is realistic or not!

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