15 June, 1999
June 15, 1999
Happy day! :-D I am finally able to connect again. Please, if anyone has sent me messages to firstname.lastname@example.org - I CANNOT access them, so please resend them to email@example.com...that will be my new address for arctic mail! I am all settled in at the ARF (Arctic Research Facility) in Barrow at the old NARL (Naval Arctic Research Laboratory) compound. Last night, 4 more people arrived to help with the Steller's Eider
survey, so there are now 13 of us living there. 7 of us are there to work with Steller's Eiders, and everyone else is involved in other research. The ARF is an old bunkhouse formerly used by the Navy, but it is nice and toasty warm and quite comfortable.
Flying into Barrow (June 9) was a fun experience - when we were taking off, the pilot said "Flight attendants, prepare for takeoff." And they got on the intercom and said "Thank you!" and he got on and said "You are quite welcome!" and then they had the same little interchange when we were landing. So polite! They also put a little psalm in with the food they gave us, which was interesting. Barrow airport is all of one room, and the baggage claim consists of someone standing behind black plastic throwing your luggage down a 4 foot stainless steel ramp. Funny! And, you are able to drive right up close to the airport, unlike any other airport I have been to. Dr. Robert Suydam, the Principal Investigator for this research project, was there to meet me with his truck parked right outside the door. It was nice, because I didn't really pack too lightly!
I have been very lucky with the weather, people keep telling me that I am experiencing weather that is rare this time of year up in Barrow. It has been about 30 to 50 degrees, and I have been wearing long underwear, jeans, a sweatshirt, and a light jacket every day. When I am walking out on the tundra, I also put on another pair of wool socks, mostly to keep my hip waders on. I have already gotten them stuck in the snow once. My right foot was so entrenched that there was no way I could move in any direction. I ended up pulling my foot out and standing stocking footed in the snow while Tim Obritschkewitsch, a lead technician on this Steller's Eider project - working for the USFW (United States Fisheries and Wildlife)- tugged and dug and finally freed my boot. Immediately, with my next step, I did the same thing with my left foot! Oooopps.
Please do not be confused, as I am going to back track in my journals and fill in the dates that I have missed... also, pictures will slowly but surely be inserted in the journals so you can see what I am talking about... If you have any questions about the arctic, research, Alaska, animals here, etc. please write!
I am so happy to be in contact again, and am looking forward to hearing from you!
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