Today, the Rocket Scientist has Antarctic "Survival School." He's excited. I'm not.
Before scientists are allowed to go into the interior to do their research, they have to demonstrate that they can handle the conditions. They are tossed on the ice (with appropriate gear, of course) and left to survive on their own for forty-eight hours.
I know he'll be just fine. I will too, but hopefully I can get through the next six weeks without developing an ulcer.
I know that he will have a lot of support while he is in Antarctica. Scientific research has been going on a long time there, so that there are a lot of things in place to help scientists. In fact, it is some ways safer than going to Devon Island, which has only had research going on for fourteen years, and which is a much smaller operation.
Also, there are no polar bears in Antarctica. He won't have to carry firearms, so there is no chance of him being accidentally shot by someone else. He's easily a match for a rogue penguin. (Just joking; scientists are prohibited from interacting with or disturbing the penguins.) He's too smart to develop hypothermia. And there are no ATVs for him to ride, so there will be no possibility of one of them flipping over on him.
In fact, except for the possibility of his plane going down, all the items on my nightmare list for when he goes to the Arctic don't apply. As I said -- less dangerous.
So I shouldn't worry, right? Everything's going to be okay.
But I worry still. That and the loneliness (mine, selfishly, not his) will make this a rough field season.
Ten days down. Depending upon the conditions and how his work goes, six weeks to go.