July 8th: American Adventures on a Siberian Internet Connection

You may have noticed, if you have been following the blog posts, that the last three were long and a bit out of order. We typed them on our field computer, and then Volodia obtained permission for us to use the internet at Polar Expeditions in Khatanga. Which turned out to mean that we had to kick one of the employees of Polar Expeditions off her computer while we used it to make our blog posts. And–how surprising–the internet runs a bit slowly in Siberia. So she stood there looking a bit impatient while we were uploading photos of stuffed wolverines.  We also felt a bit pressured for time after the first computer she let us use didn’t work and the second would only type in Russian.  Sorry if the previous posts were confusing…and if you’re a bit squeamish, you may want to skip the post directly beneath this.

As we entered the Polar Expedition offices, Volodia met with our motor boat pilot (captain?) and we were informed that we will leave Thursday the 9th at 5:00pm.  This fantastic news means that we will be leaving the comfy accomodations of Khatanga in favor of the banks of the Kotuy river.  This and all further blog posts will be made via our satellite phone data-uplink function. If it works, and it no doubt has if you are reading this, we will be “faxing” an email via the phone to Lindy Elkins-Tanton, Ben’s advisor at MIT and one heck of a nice lady (and a principal investigator on the project), who will post them on the blog for us. Thanks Lindy!!

Finally, you can send short text messages for free to our Iridium satellite phones, though we can’t reply. So if you feel like sending us a good geology joke (we have been exchanging them with Anton), just go to: messaging.iridium.com (We think that’s the website, but we’re not sure, and we can’t go on the internet to check, so you may have to google it) and type a message to:

8816 3164 1157 (Seth) or
8816 3154 7593 (Ben)

The next post will be from the field!!!

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