16 August, 2000

Arrived back at the Baltimore Washington International Airport after a day of resting, waiting, eating, and resting again. We checked in at 10 PM with the AMC, American Military Command. We were the first in our group to arrive at the gate.

There are three others in our entourage who showed up within the next half hour. John Babaluk is a Canadian researcher with the Fisheries and Oceans Canada. They are the counter part to our National Marine Fisheries Agency. He traveled with me last year and has been studying the arctic char for the past 25 years in the Canadian Arctic. Wendy Elsner is based in Fairbanks, Alaska. She has been working with musk ox in Greenland and Alaska. Because of these experiences she is fluent in Greenlandic and Danish and will be serving as an interpreter, besides sharing her expertise in arctic field work. The last member is Anderson Meyer, who has applied for graduate school at the University of Hawaii in Philosophy. He has taught sailing and been involved with Dr. Radtke in the Oceans of Potentiality Project working with students having special needs.

There are also an assortment of other travelers waiting with us to board the DC-8, which will take us to Thule. One is a reservist on duty whose regular job is being a New York City detective. He will be investigating a crime affecting military personnel. He said the military has an agreement to access criminal responsibility between themselves and any specific country in which they have a base. He will be working closely with the Danish Police Inspector in Thule, who has the largest jurisdiction by area in Greenland. The other travelers waiting consist of a group of comedians who are part of the USO, United Services Organization, civil servants on contract to maintain equipment at the base, and military personnel going back to work after R & R.

At 1:30AM we were informed that the plane was "broke". They tried to fix it and canceled the flight a 4 AM. The AMC gave us vouchers for a hotel near the airport and we all went to bed around 9AM that morning. I woke up later in the afternoon, not really knowing how many days had passed. What with losing time flying across time zones and having been up solid through the night, I wasn't sure what day it was. I ate dinner and returned to my room to repack and get to the airport with the others by the 10PM show time, hoping that the plane would now be fixed.


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Musk ox pen at Large Animal Reserve, Fairbanks, Alaska.

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