Sunday, October 26, 2008

Morning routine

Sleep doesn't come easy at Camp New Harbor. We work well into the night, and then don earplugs and slip into our sleeping bags. I wake up at 6AM to take medication, then crawl into the kitchen and make strong coffee. The running joke is that my coffee will grow hair on everyone's uvula (the dangly thing in the back of your throat), but to date no one has had to shave in there.

With coffee comes the daily dribble from the infamous New Harbor coffee pot. It's "infamous" because it never fails to dribble coffee on the tabletop, floor, or clothing. Sometimes all three, plus a bunny boot. This pot was purchased back in 1998 for use in the camp by my dear friend and colleague, Dr. Bill Stockton. He recently wrote to remind me that "the secret [to dribble-free pouring] was a medium rapid pour rate and a quick stop, but even that was tough. The shape of the lip of that thing is definitely bad." In 2005, Dr. Jack Harris joined our group and educated us about the Coanda effect, which explains our dribbler's bad habits.

After a pill and a dribble, it's time for morning check-in with McMurdo Station. Cecil has adopted this task and has multiple alarm systems in place to ensure that it happens on time. "Good morning MacOps, this is Cecil of project Golf 093 calling from New Harbor for our scheduled daily check-in. Five [or however many] souls are on board, and all is well. Have a nice day." Click.

Scratch eyes, and peek out into the world. I always look to the East at oft erupting Mount Erebus. If I want to fly to McMurdo that day, a clear view of Erebus usually means flights will happen.

I sincerely hope that Erebus is in full glory this morning...

1 comment:

  1. (can't be stronger than the coffee i make here in ny)