There is not much to tell because I went out for my shift on the 28th at night and ended up staying for 24 hours on the rig. We are still having difficulties drilling through the salt, so we still have no cores since I arrived. Instead the scientists are mainly trying to keep tabs on how much the platform is moving around because we suspect that this is having a huge impact on how effective the drill is working. If the platform moves and the pipes are bent, then the drill cannot apply the effective force to push through the salt layers. Since the weather has been so bad (several storms have come through and the wind is high), the rig seems to be blowing around despite being anchored.
Since it doesn't take much to watch a GPS for how much we are moving, they decided to leave me as the only scientist on the night shift that night. This was fine with me, I got the room to myself, I had a booklet of DVDs that I borrowed from one of the drillers on the day shift and my computer. Plus I know the drillers on the night shift well enough that I feel comfortable talking to them and hanging out when there is down time. So when the wind and waves were too much at 5am when we are supposed to be picked up, it wasn't so bad being stuck for another 12 hours. The drillers are not supposed to work during those 12 hours because they need to rest. There are 4 cots on the rig, and luckily there were 4 people (3 drillers + me), rather than 5-6 (usually there are 2-3 scientists), so we all got a cot and were able to sleep through most of the day. Then we watched movies, talked, sat around, listened to music until the boat came to relieve me and bring them more food for their night shift.
Today so far I've been hanging out with two students, one Israeli who has left now to go back to school, and one German who will be here for as long as I am here too. The good news is that he likes to hike so I will have someone to do those things with (no one else here is too much into it).
I'm trying to figure out a way to go to Jerusalem for New Year's Eve tomorrow night, but I still don't know what my schedule is for working.
It has been raining off and on for the past two days. There are possibilities of flash floods down these canyons. I'm hoping to be able to see one!
Also, my English is deteriorating a bit. It's funny, I always forget that this happens when you are in a foreign country, but it consistently does. Even though everyone is communicating in English, you are always trying to speak very simply so that others can understand when English is not their first language, or you are always hearing English that is slightly incorrect. So I feel like I can't express myself well recently, whether it's funky language issues or lack of good sleep.