With regard to the title, I'm pretty sure it doesn't mean a thing in English, but it's a saying in French: "Pas de nouvelles, bonnes nouvelles". This makes quite clear that I didn't hear much from the BELISSIMA team yet. The expedition leader, Alain, contacted us (base camp) to confirm the journey had been fine, the weather ok, and that they had arrived at destination after a 17-hours drive (around 03.00 PM). Today, they will probably install the camp, so no big science breakthrough to expect.
So, let me tell you something about base camp. Today, the Japanese team of scientists left for their very own base camp (5 km away, quite a trip indeed!), which leaves us with 11! Again, we waved them out as if i) we had known each other for years and ii) we weren't to see them again for the coming 6 months, whereas neither is true! Apart from my psychophysiological experiment (the one on sleep and circadian rhythms), this could become a sociological study: what a little remoteness can do.
The overall atmosphere here has become much quieter, which is not only due to a quantitative, but also to a qualitative change I'm afraid. Guess who made the biggest difference in the average decibel level during meals?!?
No significant medical duty for me, no field-assisting to crazy glaciologists, approximately 1 hour work a day for data-collection. Ithought I would eventually be able to catch up with all my backlogged writing (strangely enough, the chef did not immediately take my offer to help out again with his desserts). But nope. Our base camp manager seems to worry about me getting bored, and has decided to appoint me as "assistant base camp manager"! This tells two things: I need to learn to look busy, and people have a tendency to appoint me to various jobs (e.g. field assistant, blogger, kitchen help and surely more to come!). I still wonder how I could tell him this is a big casting mistake, since I think scientists are better at bending the rules than making them, but hey, this is Antarctica, anything goes J and adaptation is the motto! Maybe I should find the managerial misstep that is to management what Maritime Mousse was to chocolate.