Sunday, February 01, 2004
The traverse arrived this morning, before I got up. It is the last of the season and what it carries I mainly for the following year. Amongst its cargo is an additional 2000l of jet fuel that the AASTINO will burn during the long and cold winter. Most of the traverse crew is the same as last time. I don't know how these guys can enjoy driving though the Antarctic continent continuously like that. I guess doing it once must have a certain feel of adventure but doing it 4 times per summer would be a bit much for me.
This time they brought with them two journalists. One from the French radio station "France Info" and the other from the TV station "FR3". As it became obvious that we were going to be interviewed, I made a long trip to the bathroom, fixing my hair that had become out of control over the past few days. It turned out to be a good idea as we were the first team of scientist they visited. Being the only French speaker, I got the honour of being the centre of attention, answering all the questions they asked me in front of the camera. Jon was also asked a couple of question that had to translate semi-simultaneously. It was the ideal occasion to advertise Antarctic astronomy, so the both of us had long and accurate answers to what were for us very predictable questions.
It is a tradition at Dome C for the scientist to give an oral presentation on Saturday night. As it was my turn, I decided it was a good time to pull out the DVD of the movies I made the two previous years at the South Pole and at Dome C. It was the first time someone used such media to make a presentation so the attendance was high, filling up completely the TV room of the station. I started the South Pole movie first as it was the first I made and the less impressive technically. I noticed a lot more reactions when I showed the Dome C film. I guess people were happy to see themselves in it or at east someone they knew. At the end I was asked for so many copies of it that I think it was well appreciated. The only problem with this is that the expectations will the high for next year's movie.