So after a shit, red-eye flight, Katrina and I were exhausted beyond belief. We arrived at our hotel at around 6:30am, with no sleep in 24 hours, we went straight to the room and slept until midday. The rest of the day was a blur…
Monday brought the start of the ArcticNet conference and a 7am wake-up call. The phone buzzed and I leapt out of bed to the voice of three women on the other end of the line. Colleen, Linnaea and Genevieve,my project colleagues greeted me warmly and proposed breakfast and coffee. I will speak more about those three amazing girls in a later post.
Katrina stayed in bed with an increasingly bad illness while I met the girls. We took a short stroll downtown and I got to know them over breakfast and around fifty-million cups of coffee… My nose ran the whole time from my recovering cold, but I must of made a good impression, as we all quickly hit it off.
The next four days consisted of meeting these lovely girls for breakfast at our regular cafe with our “Halifax Mum”. We would then sit through meetings, conference lectures, lunches and then dinner and drinks together. We did not get sick of each-other.
Katrina joined us once she was feeling better and the group suddenly became a team. The name of which, was now being bantered as “Team Shambles” because of our care-free ways.
Thursday night brought the conference banquet. Linnaea won an award for her poster and Colleen jumped on a grenade for the team. This quickly reaffirmed her status as self-proclaimed team captain of “Team Shambles”. After meeting new friends over stolen wine, we headed to the after party at “The Seahorse” where we froze outside in -15C for more than half-an-hour. I was initially rejected entrance because the bouncer rejected my laminated Queensland drivers licence but allowed Teeny’s newer version. A sprint back and forth from hotel to bar with my passport got me in.
The eclectic band kept us warm until 3am, from which we then bounced to two other bars. At 4am we decided to climb the nearby hill towards the citys 250-year-old fort. The rag-tag group now consisted of Arctic scientists, researchers and students from Australia and Canada. Unfortunately for us, the British made the fort well enough to keep eight drunkards at bay. We retreated home just before the sun rose for a couple of hours sleep.
The last day of the conference was a short day and finished off well. I think I can say I have taken a lot away from the conference, I learnt a great deal and I made some amazing contacts. It will be a week to remember, probably for the rest of my life.