Sunday, October 7, 2018

Getting ready to go to the Ice

Since my last post, a lot has happened. I'm still in Christchurch waiting for a flight to the Ice. Weather in McMurdo is not cooperating causing flights to be cancelled.  Hopefully the weather will improve soon.  There is a link to the McMurdo webcams and weather information to the right of these posts.

I attended orientation and training the day after I arrived in Christchurch.  The US Antarctic Program Center is located at the Christchurch airport.  It's a large complex with offices, a clothing distribution center (CDC), a post office and its own boarding area.  Right next door is the International Antarctic Centre, a museum on the history, ecology and life in Antarctica.

US Antarctic Program Center in Christchurch.

The highlight of the day for me was being given my Extreme Cold Weather (ECW) clothing. The Program provides a big red parka, insulated coveralls and work jacket, a fleece jacket, gloves/mittens, hats/hoods, goggles, a neck gaiter/balaclava and a pair of insulated rubber boots called "bunny boots", I guess because they're white.  I tried on all the clothes and accessories to make sure they fit and were in working order.

Extreme Cold Weather clothing.

We also went over baggage weight restrictions.  From theUS to Christchurch I had a 100 pound limit but going to McMurdo it's 85 pounds.  And even though a lot of the ECW clothes I was issued I will wear on the flight to the Ice, I still had clothes I needed to pack and additional weight I needed to account for.  That made me nervous.  I went back to the Center a couple of days later with all my baggage to decide what I needed to take, what to store at the Center and what I could mail to myself on the Ice.  An hour and a half later I weighed my bags and managed to get down to the 85 pounds limit. That was a big relief.

My next post will be about my time in Christchurch.  It's a beautiful city filled with friendly people.  And I'll have some photos to share.


Gianni alsoknownas John said...

Wow- still stuck, eh?! But, it sounds like a great place to hang out. I've heard nothing but great things about Christchurch and the people there. The ECW gear makes it sound pretty ominous!! It reminded me of the parka I bought when I went to Antarctica. That's when I first realized going on The Ice was a big deal! Thanks for the update and all the interesting details, Rex! I hope your flight clears soon.

Unknown said...

Rex, looking forward to following your adventure. 1968 classmate.

Unknown said...

Rex best wishes on your excursion!I will be following on your posts....Bill

Unknown said...

Hi Rex, I'm excited to follow your blog. I'm going to share it with my students at school. They will be fascinated by your travels and experience. I noticed that you didn't pack a swimsuit. You broke one of Della's cardinal rules.
Love you, J&D

One last Antarctic Adventure

I promise this will the be the last post.  But I wanted to share with you one of the most powerful experiences I had while on the Ice. ...