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26 June, 2000

Day three in Seattle! A Monday and the campus is really hopping! It is hard to believe that it is summer with all the activity going on here. Before we headed over to the University to change over the PAERI to the SPT and to start the packing process, we first needed to go to Ballard to pick up some photographs that Rich is submitting to National Geographic. He has spent a lot of time in the Antarctic, both on the continent and on ship and has some fantastic images. I only hope that I can learn his technique so my images can be at least more artistic and truly tell a story.

Back at the U of W we checked to make sure that the PAERI worked up to parameters and then we (actually Von and Mike) started the process of disassembly of the PAERI and assembly of the SPT. Von had Mike video tape the process and write down the proper sequence so that when we get to the Ice it will be much easier. It was amazing to see the PAERI come apart and the parent unit, the Bomen Interferometer begin to re-emerge.

After about two hours the PAERI was pretty much put into the shipping box and we started to check all the boxes for the parts of the SPT. The SPT went together fairly quickly after we found all the parts. In addition to the SPT assembly we were trained by Rich on how to check the frequency of the Radiosondes that we will be flying with the HYVIS. Most of the batteries were dead, but we eventually found a unit and a set of batteries that did the job.

Boy am I am experiencing sensory and information overload right now. I am glad that I will have a little longer to get familiar with the equipment when I get to the Pole. My initial assignment is to help Penny with anything that she needs and to get the site ready for the Blimp and make sure that all the electronics are up and running before Von shows up....I will also have to adjust to 24 hours of light, extreme high elevation (about 9000 feet) and very cold conditions.

Now the only real big hurdle to actually going is the physical. I will have to get going with that as soon as I get back to Billings in July.

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