A couple nights ago we got an email we'd all been fantasizing about--maintenance work at Chades. They needed to do some work on the tanks that hold water for the hypertats and the El Dorm (there are two 400 gallon tanks), and in order to do the work they had to drain the tanks first. So it was Hollywood showers for any that wanted them that night. I got home about 4 am and hopped in the shower. I must have stood there for ten minutes! What a luxury!
Water use in the dome is unlimited in the winter, although we are always encouraged to conserve water and power (nearly the same thing--it takes a lot of energy to melt the snow into water). Many of the people who live in the hypertats have taken to showering in the dome, but I don't really like taking off all my clothes in the middle of the day. The showers in the tats are also larger, newer, and cleaner than the dome ones. So I stick to two showers a week, two minutes each. Actually, I use about 90 seconds of water in a normal shower here. The down side of this maintenance is that they haven't finished the work they are doing, so there isn't any water in Chades for a couple days. I'll bring a bottle of water with me for brushing my teeth.
Last Sunday the cooks prepared a really nice meal for everyone. It was restaurant style--people gathered in the bar or upper galley, and a tux-clad host took our reservation and brought us to our seats. There were real candles burning on the tables! (We aren't allowed candles or incense at any time--the fire hazard is simply too high.) We were brought menus, and placed our orders with waitrons. The food was delicious and it was fun to be served. My friend Mike (one of the Sparcle brothers I've written about) and I spent most of Saturday night baking cheesecakes for the dessert on Sunday. He and I are also thinking about making a meal for the station some Sunday. Probably 3 Sundays out of 4 someone volunteers in the kitchen to cook a meal for the station.
The moon came back up this weekend. Meghan and I were also given a treasure map. This summer, we hoarded much of the candy that had been sent to us and had Dar and Anna, two of the summer mets, bury the candy for us. Its a good week to go looking for buried treasure--its quite bright with the moon out, and the winds have been calm (less than 10 knots), with temps in the 70s and 80s. Meghan went out one night but didn't find it. We are hoping for a little more information before we venture out again.
copyright 2001 Andrea Grant
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