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6 October, 2003

Winds Again

We are unable to go out on the helicopters because the winds have picked up to 40 knots. The snow is blowing and at times visibility is near zero. So instead we spent the day learning how to locate objects with an H antenna and receiver. In the evening things cleared up a bit and the perpetual sunset was spectacular.

The last flight was a couple of days ago. It boomeranged. They flew all the way here and then had to turn back, after circling the runway. Now there are a lot of people waiting at Christchurch to fly in! You can't seem to predict the local conditions here for more than a few hours during October.

We launch a balloon at 4 in the morning. But the winds right now are blowing the building about. Amazingly the winds are predicted to calm down by midnight. We shall see, it will be a long night.

Searching for a hidden ELT in the hills as practice for locating the real balloons.

When one side of the antenna receives a stronger signal than the other, the meter needle will point in that direction.

Found the transmitter, it is the small box in my right hand. Each of the balloons has one of these attached to it and is beeping a signal into space right now. The batteries can last a month or two.

Winds of 40 knots are blowing on the surface. It is very difficult to hold a camera still. The red sky is spectacular tonight.

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