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Day 3 and 4 Pre-sim

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Catching up by a day. It is currently the end of Tuesday (1am Wednesday).

Day 3 I slept horribly and I’m uncomfortable, my right knee wont bend as far as the left but it’s all still pretty cool. I began by going to the airstrip to get the last barrels of fuel with Caleb. We stopped at the river and took 3 water samples for Olivia for studying. We noticed a swimming worm-like thing less than a centimeter long and took that as a sample too. I can’t recall what we had for breakfast but we had cold maple flavored baked beans for lunch. I hope you get to do something so awesome that you happily enjoy cold canned beans, because I am and I did.

Caleb and I traded off climbing up the main radio tower on the side of the hab to the roof for repairs. We added roofing caulk and waterproof roof repair tape. We only brought enough for a few of the roof seams because we were only shown 1 leak location. The rest of the roof was repaired with caulk. I saw a signature of Joe Amarualik on the roof. He was one of the group who built the hab.

I really miss Lor. The days are ripping by in a flash but it’s still 3 weeks to go.

We got another generator running and two more ATVs. There are 5 of each, we each get our own generator and ATV if we want. We will be storing these for emergencies but we will report not to bring any additional in the future. The rest of the crew is working very hard on removing all the items in the hab a cleaning up. It will take another day.

Day 4 I slept like I was in a coma. It was cold enough that I could cover my head in my sleeping bag which helped keep the light out. We’re finishing the roof and clean up. I repaired the bathroom vent at the request of everyone. We built a larger vent for the upstairs with a tarp and fan so we can work without PPE. I’m belaying for Caleb while he finished the last of the roof, it takes 4 hours. The sun is hot and we need to cover up and have sun block, but it is less than 50 degrees.

I help clean off a table and organize some things inside so I can get into the toolbox which is currently the table. I have a task that needs a drill and it’s in there under our canned tuna. I replace some batteries and do some other odds and ends around to get everything back in order. Things are starting to come around and I think we are on the other side of the hump. I enjoy Andrew’s command, he will not allow us to begin the simulated mission until he is satisfied with the condition of the hab. It’s the right thing to do and no other crew has taken this as a priority. I want the scientists to have their sim (and it’s the Engineer’s, too) so I will be working very hard to get this all done. Our goal is to start on the 22nd but I think we can pull that in by a day or two.

Someone mentions the foods we are missing and thinking of. It’s Tuesday, so we talk about tacos. Andrew must have noticed everyone talking about tacos so he goes about trying to make it happen with what we have. Corned beef, seasoning, but no shells. Olivia makes the beef and I offer to make some flatbreads in the frying pan and it all comes out great. It was nice to cook dinner for everyone. The bread maker is cleaned and we run the generators long enough to make some bread for tomorrow. After dinner, Caleb and I tear apart the last ATV. It hasn’t seen much action so it’s pretty clean and nice to work on, although they don’t make these easy to service. The spark plug is dead, but I brought 4. It jumps to life at midnight. We celebrate Caleb’s belated 30th birthday and all turn in, I write this entry to catch up. And there we are.

Something that came up while talking with other expedition crews over the past few months that I didn’t mention my first day here: I believe the departure of the last Twin Otter off the crater rim is a shared experience of the stark realization that you and your crew are all you have now, and the island will not inconvenience herself to help you.

2 thoughts on “Day 3 and 4 Pre-sim”

  1. Keeping busy, not that there’s really a choice, helps keep some of the thoughts and feelings for family at bay. And I am surprised by how much communication we have with you! We miss you but we are living with you vicariously through your blogs!

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