Tuesday, January 8, 2008
What a whirlwind 24 hours. 08 Jan started with a checkout from the hotel in Christchurch at 4:30 am. We proceeded to the Antarctic Center at the airport to don our cold weather gear, have a bit of breakfast, and make sure our checked baggage was ready, and make sure we had our carry on bags in order. You are allotted 2 orange duffels. One is carry on and includes what you need as a “boomerang Bag” – these are items that in the event the plane is turned around after departure because of weather, etc. at McMurdo. Our flight departed Christchurch at 9 am and took 5 hours to arrive. It was aboard a C-17.
We flew on “side seats” along with cargo bound for McMurdo. Because it is the “summer” they attempt flights from Christchurch to McMurdo 3 times a week – Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. It is pretty strange being in a plane with only a few small windows, so on takeoff and landing you only have the sensation of what is going on. As mentioned we landed at 1 pm on the ice.
The only description for when you deplane off the steps is WOW !!!!!!!! It was one of the most incredible sights I have ever seen. 360 degrees around you is “beautiful desolation” of snow ice and glaciers. They hurried everyone to the transports for the ride to McMurdo. It took about 35 minutes to arrive at the base camp at McMurdo.