Light at Night

We’re still wearing long underwear and puffy parkas and hats every day.  We’re gearing up for Halloween and Thanksgiving and Christmas.  We’re looking out our windows at a very convincing field of ice and snow.  And yet here we are calling it “springtime.”

There are a few clues that life here is transitioning into summer, though.  First:  the penguins are nesting.  Second:  it stays light out until almost midnight.  The farther you are from the Equator, the more darkness you get during your hemisphere’s winter, and the more daylight you get during your hemisphere’s summer.  Pretty soon here, we’ll have light at all hours. I love the stretched-out sunrises and sunsets. Nothin’ like a pink-tinged glacier late in the evening…

…and at 11pm…

The novelty wears off after a few weeks, when your body’s internal clock gets thoroughly wonked-out.  But don’t worry, I nabbed one of those little eye mask things they give you on planes, so I’m set.


Following is an inventory of my life between now and February, 2009:

* approximate number of days away from home: 165
* approximate number of days on which the sun will, in fact, not set: 55
* types of boats used: 4
* species of penguins likely to be seen: 3
* continents: 3
* oceans: 3
* layers of clothing I will need to wear: unfathomable
* degrees of latitude crossed: 148
* number of times my brain has exploded in excitement: lost count
* pairs of underwear I will bring: 4, maybe 5