After a couple of days in Christchurch, getting issued our ECW gear (extreme cold weather gear), stocking up on some special items we want to bring to Antarctica, enjoying the good Kiwi food and beer and finding our way around in earthquake-destroyed Christchurch, we finally arrived in McMurdo.
But let me back up a bit. By October 18 everyone of us had left home (some of us were getting some travels in New Zealand in or visiting home before heading to the ice) and the Team met in Christchurch for the first time on the 20th. Amy, Kathi, David, Tyler and Miye all together at the breakfast table at a nice cafe in Christchurch for the first time- getting the feel for each other.
That same day we went to the CDC for our gear issue and had some time off to explore Christchurch. CHCH used to be a very nice city before the earthquake in February 2011. It is sad to see the destruction of the city. It is hard to find your way around, internet is very limited and so is the usual selection of nice restaurants and the availability if good beer. Our southbound flight was scheduled for October 22 at 5:00am, but a call from the reception at 4:00am notified us of a 24hour delay, so we got to sleep in. The delay day was rainy, so not much to do in Christchurch other than tracking down internet. We finally got on our c17 flight the next day at 5:00am. This flight is usually about 5hours long, hot and very dry. Just as we approached McMurdo bad weather moved in there so we circled for one hour above town. We almost “boomeranged” back to Christchurch. Fortunately a little hole let the pilots land and us get on the continent.
Now we are here, getting settled and trained and are preparing for the field. The new and unknown is overwhelming for some of us, but also exciting at the same time.
We’ll keepyou in the loop in between washing sampling bottles!