Gib Finney’s sequel to THE POWER OF UN
Cabin Fever
6 June 2008, Finney @ 8:13 pm

[This post written 6/6/08; position: lat -59’44”, long -49’08”; temp -12C; wind chill -28C]

First of all, Cricket, Semma and Oscar Twining, yes, the guy in yesterday’s picture is your dad, Ben, launching his water sampling “fish”!

Dude. We are going stir crazy. If I have to play one more hand of hearts, I might turn into a cereal killer. (Okay, okay, Rainy says it’s “serial,” not “cereal.” LOL, though, like I am going to murder my corn flakes.) When we got up this morning, the deck looked like this — see top pix on left. We could not go outside, because the deck is so icy that nobody can stand up on it without special shoes, and we don’t have them. All of that great stuff we got at the extreme clothing issue, and they did not give us shoes good for walking on icy decks!

It is nice to know that the scientists have cabin fever, too. (“Cabin fever” is the sailor’s way of saying “bored on a ship.”) This morning, Dr. Smith announced that none of the icebergs we saw yesterday will work for us. We are looking for ice that used to be on the continent, meaning the land part, of Antarctica. But all of the icebergs we’ve seen so far are thin, if you define thin as less than a hundred feet high. (I mean, I thought they were way tall, myself, and so did Ash and Rainy, but I guess they weren’t.) And the thin ones are just from the ice shelves, not from the Antarctic glaciers, which are big and thick. We are looking for ones that are at least as tall as skyscrapers. There aren’t any here, so we are heading north and east toward the Scotia Sea.

Meanwhile, Dr. Smith let us run up and down the hallway on 01 deck where the bedrooms are, and we climbed up to the bridge and back down about ten times until Captain Mike said, “All right already!” Then Paul took us down to the electronics lab and taught us how to convert centigrade temperatures into Fahrenheit temperatures. Which was more fun than I expected. Today’s temperature, for example, is -12C. To find out what that is in the kind of temperature we use at home, you do this: first, multiply by 1.8, and then add 32. So, -12 times 1.8 equals -21.6. Add 32 to -21.6 (which is actually like subtracting 21.6 from 32) and you get 10.4 degrees F. Well, okay, this is probably weird and boring to you up north where the green leafy trees are begging to be climbed and kids are busy swimming and catching katydids. It is interesting to us, or at least it was for a little while, which tells you something about how bored we are today.

Another thing we have been doing to pass the time is playing with the simulator for the radio control airplane. And Steve, Kim, and Paul have been polishing the airplane and cleaning it all up and testing it to make sure it will work okay in these cold temperatures. So far so good. The Three Musketeers are now pretty good at flying the plane, at least on the simulator. I wish they would let us really fly it, but I don’t know if they will. We (Ash and Rainy and I) have decided to name the planes. There are actually two of them — the orange one in the picture and a smaller one. If you would like to help us name them, please tell us in a comment, and we will consider them all.

Strike moves all over the place apparently by himself. I am beginning to feel a little irritated about it, because I’m pretty sure somebody is playing tricks on me, but I still don’t know who it is.

Mmmm. It is almost time to eat, and the food is really good here. We had meat loaf and mashed potatoes for lunch!