Brent, Steve, Hadar, and I are finally all in Wanaka! Brent and I drove the cryostat from the Christchurch Airport to the Wanaka Airport today. Hadar and Steve arrived in Wanaka earlier this week to hold down the fort and set up our new hangar.
We’re currently monitoring the cryostat 24/7 as it pumps down to near vacuum pressure. We monitor to check that power to the pump hasn’t unexpectedly turned off while we’re pumping. If it does, our UPS (uninterruptible power supply) gives us about 45 minutes to turn on a generator before the batteries run out and the pump turns off. So far, so good.
More importantly, the four of us celebrated our successful reunion with a long-awaited dinner at Ashraf’s. The korma, rogan josh, and naan were delightful, as was the wonderful hospitality we received from the Ashraf’s host who recognized Brent and Steve immediately.
Brent and I made the most of our time waiting in Christchurch for the cryostat to arrive. We toured the Christchurch Botanic Gardens, Riccarton Bush, Akaroa, and the Waipara wine region. I’ve eaten plenty of seafood already, including massive green-lipped mussels and delicious salmon, and have tried NZ toasties, lamb, and the popular Cookie Time packaged chocolate chip cookie. We also pet and fed sheep!
Hadar’s search for the ultimate cheese scone is underway.