Tuesday Morning December 3, 2002, Becky Williams
We didnít have any rain last night. We did have very strong winds. I thought that our tent would blow over. After dinner yesterday we talked about all of the eclipses we have been to. We invited some Germans over because they were "eclipse virgins". Dave wasnít too happy about them smoking.
This morning I didnít want to wake up, but when I heard that there was spaghetti, I was confused but awake. We were having spaghetti on toast! After breakfast we went and got coffee. Some people told us about a place that we could look for malachite and azurite. They call looking for rocks, "fossicking". We drove out to the middle of nowhere to "fossicí. After we were done we looked for some other interesting things. We found a coal pit that they were dynamiting in. We didnít get to see anything get blown up, but we did see some of the trucks used to haul the coal out of the pit. One of tires was about 12 feet high! It set the record for the longest used tire. Not a cloud in the sky. Iím crossing my fingers.
Tuesday afternoon December 3, 2002, Doug Millar
We lunched at Copley. Reminded me of a town in North Dakota Ė very windy. One rail track, a bank, gas pump, store and a "local" bar. Looked around and found that the store had no better rocks for sale than what we found "fossicking" earlier. I encountered 3 aboriginal boys (7, 8, 9 years old) and ended up giving them a quarter each. We discovered too late that the Copley Pub has a great garden out back and wonderful camping area (nuts!).
Back on the road and south to Aroona dam. I sat down to write with a group from Adelaide. They offered me emu lunch meat (ok) and kangaroo (tasted like corned beef with a slight fishy taste). Good with mustard I think. InterludeÖ.While in Sydney a friend from Canberra picked us up to go out to Canberra. We went through Kangaroo Valley Forests and Rain forests. We ended up visiting Tralbinbilla tracking station. We were able to go to the control room and observed the signal from Voyager spacecraft coming down at 3.4 db S/SW level. It is Ĺ light day away! Later we were visiting the director in his office. Outside his picture window was the 70 meter dish. We got discussing ham radio. I took out my handi-talker and asked him about using it here. I transmitted with a few times but only heard a "Bzzzzzzzz" coming out of his equipment with desk. I was worried I was interfering with the dish; Headlines in Sydney would read "Trebinbillas biggest dish brought down by idiot ham radio operator". Fortunately he just said "Itís just the computer speakers". Relief! We also visited the time standards lab. They had a new mercury ion fountain frequency source just installed. 10-15 on better accuracy. Great place to visit and lots of techno-history. Canberra has flocks of cockatoos. They are very big birds and great watching.
Back to the current time 2:30 at Aroona Dam. Sunny, dry trail to hike. Weather was clear and fair. In the afternoon we sat around camp and enjoyed the afternoon and each otherís company. Wine and beer flowed and Mum held ??? with a number of hilarious jokes including the three legged chicken.
We had a quick dinner so as to go into town for a street party. We found it was in a parking lot with BBQís, ???? and stuff for sale. The locals really like Karaoke. I had met a few folks and they gave me a 15 page booklet on "Aussieisms". I brought a couple of the parents and covey of 6th grade kids back to our camp and we joined the star party in progress. With Billís Questar and a pair of binoculars we saw 30 Dor, eta carina, LMC, SMMC, M41, M42, M31. Earlier in the day we did some solar observing. Great trip, good friends, good food, and wines.