Last night continued with more Espartaco and then went downhill with something with vampires and werewolves.  That mean’s Sex and the City was an improvement (I’ve never imagined seeing Sex and the City as an improvement…).  We got some good laughs though; maybe it’s because we were a bit tired or maybe things were just so obnoxiously outrageous we couldn’t help but laugh (coloring as a code word for fornication?).  Nonetheless, I found the whole situation amusing, with astronomers all sprawled out across couches waiting for the night to start.

A bit after 1:30, we got a call saying the humidity had dropped and if it stayed down for half an hour, we’d be good.  For literally one minute, the dew point turned red on the CTIO Environmental page, which we were checking religiously.  That meant we needed to wait at least 25 minutes with no red.  Once we were good, Arturo (the head honcho for the night) came to bring us to the summit.  Unfortunately for us, bigger telescopes go first so we were on the third trip after the 4, 1.5, and 1.3-m folks (about 15 minutes after the first, no big deal).  Sue and I were a bit perplexed as to how our friend Sauna (sp?) from Korea got up to the 1-m because we hadn’t seen her in a while.  But the roads were very icy and Arturo showed Sue and me the tire tracks around one of the curves where they had tried to see if the cars could make it to the summit.  With no luck, we were all at the mercy of one truck with 4-wheel drive and chains on the tires.  We were told to call Claudio at the 4-m at the end of the night.

Our night finally started around 2:30 am.  Yes, we started at 2:30 am.  I think it’s pretty fair to say our data was mostly garbage and that just about sums up the night.  Sue would like to point out that we’ll never get those four hours of sleep back and therefore, sometimes bad data is worse than no data at all.  But we kept the tunes rolling and rocked out for most of the night.  Around 6 am, we finished parking the telescope back at the zenith, refilling the liquid nitrogen, closing the dome/wind screens & got our ride back down with Claudio.

I want to point out how amusing I find it that it’s completely commonplace here to say “good night” at 6 or 7 am and “good morning” at 2 pm.  Nobody corrects it, they just respond back with the exact same thing.  I like it.

I headed to lunch at 1:40 and caught John to ask a few questions before he left to go back down to La Serena (sad day, we’re losing our buddy!).  Lunch was crazy awesome.  Fish, some sort of salad with ham and cheese, epic mashed potatoes, and soup: I’m talking some sort of broth with a big piece of corn on the cob, a piece of sweet potato, regular potato, and a giant meatball all sprinkled with parsley or something.  Probably the most awesome bowl of soup I’ve had.  John came back for a few minutes because there was some generator problem or something and he needed to wait, but we agreed to all meet up for dinner when we’re in La Serena after the end of the run.

We were able to drive ourselves up for biases and flats, which are just getting finished up right now.  Hopefully things will clear up enough for us to have a real night observing tonight!

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