Wednesday, November 30, 2011

McMurdo arrival

So, you've flown from home all the way to Christchurch on the south island of New Zealand, felt saddened by the earthquake damage, been issued your ECW (EXTREME Cold Weather) clothing, and flown on a load, crowded military transport for hours. Now what?

Well, you hop off the plane into the brilliant sunlight (sunshine plus reflected sunlight off of all of that ice), feel some wind and surprisingly warm air (it is Antarctica, but it's summer, you're on the coast, and it's probably around 20-25F). What's next?

A slog of bureaucracy. Load up and go to the NSF Chalet HQ and hear about safety, recycling, rules, regulations, changes in the rules, and then you explain what you want to do when you leave Antarctica (for the travel office) and then you get a room key. Drop your stuff off in the room, go to the laundry facility and get some sheets, drop off the sheets, find some food. Then your bags arrive on the base and you go haul those off to your room.

And for those of us heading on to Pole, we turn our bags back over to the cargo folks, get ourselves weighed again, and prepare for another flight. Hopefully the next morning.

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