18 August, 2000
We are staying at a Danish guest house on the Thule air base. We arrived safely, Friday morning, after waiting for an hour for the plane maintainance crew to close up the "pit". The flight was pleasant actually--took my melatonin and slept. My feet got extremely cold the last two hours of the flight and I had to keep moving them so they wouldn't feel like they would freeze and break off. I guess the seal between us and the outside was not that great?!
We were met in Thule by the commander and his officers as we deplanned, almost aloha style except it was around 40 degrees F. We went to the Greenlandic Air hanger to check about the flight to Qaanaaq. They said there was a storm heading this way and today one flight had been turned back already twenty minutes short of Qaanaaq. We also found out there was a delay for the fishing gear from Canada; it would not arrive until Tuesday. The VECO camping gear was already here and we made plans to check through it and move it to the hanger for a tentative departure for Qaanaaq on Wednesday, since we needed the fishing gear before we went to the study area. The plan for us was to go to Qaanaaq on Monday and set up a base of operations for the two planned field trips and to get check in with the Fishing and Hunting Association about the Inuit guides we would need.
At night we ate dinner at the base commisary, visited their gym, and went to the comedy show at the Top of the World Ballroom to pass the time. All three comedians preformed to a packed house. They used life around Thule and the plane ride up in their routines and worked the crowd. It was a little raucous at times, but all in good fun. They were pleased to see I had made the show. There are only around 100 US soldiers and the rest of the 1000 people on base are civilians made of of Danes, Greenlanders, and Americans. It is a fairly close knit group as they spend one year at Thule. There are lots of web sites for the airbase on the internet from soldiers who have wintered over.
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