On the Ice

First week in Antarctica

So it is that time of year again when we deploy to the Ice. It involves a long flight from Wisconsin to New Zealand, through Australia this year, to get our gear before heading to the ice. The flight was about 30 hours, when you include the various layovers with the longest flight being from L.A. to Sydney Australia which takes about 15 hours.

New Zealand is still recovering from the Earthquakes of the past few years, and much of the city center is still cordoned off, though I was able to get relatively close to the old cathedral. Unfortunately I didn’t have my camera with me so I couldn’t get a good picture, but it was a sad sight given the destruction. Otherwise a large number of buildings have been removed which made finding my way through Christchurch very difficult. For those that have been the Windsor is gone, and seems to have been replaced by what looks like a small apartment building.

The flight to the Ice was very early, 4:30AM at the CDC(clothing distribution center) but the weather was great. We were among the first flights to arrive at the Pegasus Runway instead of the sea ice runway. That made for a long ride in, on a Delta.

Then began a week of various training courses, meetings, gear gathering, and searching for cargo which should be finished tomorrow. When we arrived much of our cargo wasn’t here yet, but we’ve received the majority of it as of this past weekend so now it is a matter of finishing up meetings, getting everything prepared for the field and flying to various stations.

Another cool bit of news, is we may coordinate with another group to bring people and equipment necessary to do some google street view imagery to the areas around some of our stations.

With the new contractor a number of things have changed around the station, but much seems the same. So far the weather has been great, if a bit cold and windy. Hopefully that will be the case when we actually get to fly places and the real fun can begin.

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