Friday, 20 November 2009

Upcoming career move?

I'm going to be a tour guide tomorrow (Saturday). Six people who I've never met before will be taking the Mauna Kea summit tour with me as their guide. It should be fun especially as I can offer a little more than the normal MK tour companies - a guided tour of a submillimetre and infrared telescope plus watching the night crew in action taking data. I won't be charging nearly $200 for the tour as most companies do either, but tips are welcome! I just hope I'm not asked to point out the constellations, that might be embarrassing.

I hope it goes well, and I might even show my guests the best place on the summit for taking photos at sunset or sunrise. Oops, I gave it away in the picture.


Anonymous said...

You rock dude... I so wish I didn't have to help w/ a party this weekend.

I so would be on this trip w/ you guys.

Your offer of this trip shows some real true aloha!

I'm envious of those that get to go!

kahuku said...

Sharing the things you are involved in to others is always a fun and rewarding experience. I hope you have a grand time.

The summit is one place on the island I haven't been. There's a reason for this, but maybe I'll make it happen in January.


Anonymous said...


What a grand experience! You are one incredible tour guide! The company was also great. We thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to share the experience with Dev, Wes, Jon, & Dallynda.

So many impressive things. They are too numerous to mention. I was personally impressed that we got to stand within a few feet of the coldest place in the universe. Interestingly, part of the time, it actually felt that way.

And then there was that world-class sunset while we were on top of the world!

And I can't forget your incredibly patient explanations of astronomy and the telescopes to your appreciative but ignorant guests.

A few of us felt a little altitude sickness after a bit, but you were so attentive and responsive that it was nothing by the time we descended.

Soon we were all feeling much better and conversing with excitement about the experience. The only hold-over effect, I think, was wanting to stay up about an hour past our normal bedtime. I think that the adrenalin was still active and we were now on a "high".

All day we have spoken of how fortunate we were to be part of such an extraordinary trip hosted by someone so knowledgeable and gracious. We reflected on how careful you were at each stop to help us acclimatize ourselves to the altitude.

Our only regret is that our discomfort prevented us from enjoying a meal together and properly thanking you for providing one of the most memorable experiences we will ever have. It is one of those rare instances where words are not equal to the challenge of expressing our true feelings.

We really do thank you, Tom.

Chuck & Ann

Ann said...

Ditto what Chuck said - It was an awesome experience! THANKS so much! Although I did have those 'minor' symptoms of altitude sickness, they disappeared as soon as I got to sea level & got a bit more oxygen! I will post a few comments on my blog as well - it was quite phenomenal - not only your expertise in this science, but your careful attention to visitors! Thank you so much!
ann - Portland, OR

Devany said...

Tom, we had the most amazing experience I can remember since we arrived in Hawaii. Who knew that we would ever get our own personal tour guide with an astronomer? It was simply incredible! The curry thank you dinner is on as soon as your schedule permits.

Tom said...

Damon - next time perhaps? I might be able to offer another tour in January.

Kahuku - you're not wrong, I got as much out of the experience as the others, it was a really enjoyable trip! Please do drop me a line if you have questions or need suggestions about visiting MK, I'm happy to do what I can to make your trip as good as it can be! It's a wonderful place to take pictures!

Chuck, Ann and Devany - I'm so pleased you enjoyed the trip and it was so great to meet you all for the first time. I had a great time!


WesIsland said...

Tom, I'd be remiss if I didn't add my two cents. The tour was uplifting in so many marvel at the size and scale of everything, both what's being observed and the equipment and people doing it. And to see people furthering our understanding of such profound issues, well....whew. Thank you again so much, and we look forward to having you for dinner.


Tom said...

Wes - the pleasure was all mine!