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January 2, 2009

Greetings from Antarctica

Hello from McMurdo Station! We made it, and it’s wonderful to be here. The sheer elation, the surreal surroundings, and a touch of sleep deprivation all make it feel like a dream.

Here’s how the day unfolded…

Things weren’t looking up this morning in Christchurch. We reported to the airport at 6 A.M. only to perform the ritual ‘board the LC-130 to disembark’ routine. I felt a bit betrayed by Scott and Hillary. I’d left them a perfectly delicious sacrificial offering last evening. Weren’t they hanging out at Bailies anymore…?

After boarding the plane again later in the morning, we took off. That was only minimally consoling following yesterday’s boomerang. But optimism crept in as the hours passed.

The Lockheed LC-130 is pretty bare bones, but more comfortable than it looks. Despite the baggage and cargo down the middle of the fuselage, there’s still more leg room than commercial airlines offer. Using our down parkas as seat cushions and earplugs to filter the din (this is one loud aircraft), most of us got a fair amount of sleep on the flight.

And then, our first glimpse of the continent.

Spirits were high as we touched down on Williams Field. The plane came to a stop, and the rear cargo hatch opened to perfectly frame Mount Erebus fuming in the distance. Quite an inspiring welcome.

Our arrival here officially officially commences my project and a new chapter of this blog. I can’t wait to settle in, investigate the workings of McMurdo, discover the surrounding area, travel around, collect stuff, and tell you all I learn. It’ll be exciting.

Oh, and it’s confirmed: Scott and Hillary are accepting offerings at Bailies. Fish and chips preferred.


Filed under: McMurdo — mbartalos @ 11:57 am

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