It took its time coming and kept getting delayed but like many exciting things worth waiting for the first core finally arrived late but on deck about 1 AM last night local time. We had spent a rather unfocused day completing our reports with the high point being a rather excellent Chinese dinner to celebrate the new year largely made by members of the Chinese scientific party.
The variety of splendid dumplings was the highlight for me, but in the back of our minds was the thought that the core and the work was about to start in earnest and there was a group of people pacing up and down in the laboratory in the evening waiting for the core to come, first at 9 PM then at 10:30 PM. At least it was a good chance to learn all the names of the people, not only in the scientific party but also the technicians. By the end of my shift at midnight still nothing had appeared and so I opted to go to sleep rather than wait this thing out since there will be plenty of opportunities to look at cores again in the all too near future. Somebody has to be awake and deal with all the material for the rest of the day so getting run down too early seems like a big mistake.