Wednesday, September 30, 2009
It was nice to be able to sleep in a bit today as I knew
I wasn't going to be flying. I've been going to be pretty
early though as I'm trying to catch up from the lack of
sleep I received on the plane ride across the Pacific, so
I got up around 7:30am anyway. When I turned on the
television, I learned from One News that there had been
a 7.9 earthquake off the coast of Samoa and that a
tsunami had occurred. Tsunamis are taken very seriously
in New Zealand since it is an island nation and reports
stated that a wave from 1-3 meters was headed this way!
New Zealand also has very strong connections to all of
the other nations of the Pacific, no matter how small since
many of it's residents live on these islands and vice versa.
New Zealand is the 'big city" for many of these islands.
The time came when the waves would be arriving on one
of the North Island's capes and it turned out that the wave
was less than 1 meter, causing no damage, or loss of life
by the time it reached NZ. There were no reports of any
waves on the South Island but I'm guessing that the damage
in Samoa was considerable.
I decided to spend the day at the Borders Store in Riccarton
Mall since I wanted to do some research for some traveling
we want to do after I get off the Ice. Little did I know that
there is a school holiday going on and the mall was packed
with screaming kids. Ugh. I grinned and bore it, trying to
keep a "half full" attitude. One nice thing about Christchurch
is there is a very Asian culture here so you can find Asian
food almost everywhere. And at this mall, it's no exception
as I enjoyed good, cheap Sushi for lunch. YUM! I did my
research at the bookstore, drank some coffee and headed
home to the hotel. There I received a very nice surprise!
The plane scheduled to go down to the Ice had a small,
non-life-threatening mechanical problem and had to turn
around (called a boomerang) after an hour in the air. This
meant that I would not be flying tomorrow either! YAY!
The note also said that I would have to go back out to the
CDC in the morning to get more per diem money (about
$60US/$80kiwi). The earliest I'll be leaving for the Ice now
is on October 2nd (October 1st in the States)!