Wednesday, December 31, 2008

In Christchurch

I flew from Madison to Christchurch yesterday and today.

I think we flew over the International Date Line at around 3AM or so, meaning that I jumped directly from 3AM Dec 31, 2009 to 3AM Jan 1, 2009, so I missed the coutdown to 2009. However (and probably because of that) the plane wasn't even half full, so I had a couple of seats to myself ... a big luxury on a 13.5 hour flight!

Once I got to my hotel, I changed into shorts (it's 75 degrees right now), read my email and RSS feed and chatted with my wife, and then made the pilgrimage to Dux de Lux, a local vegetarian restaurant with really good beer and a wonderful outdoor patio that seats maybe 100 people. I sat outside for an hour reading, eating and drinking a beer.

I'm going to try and store up as much of the warmth as I can!

Tomorrow I'm going to head back to the Christchurch Deployment Center (by the airport) to get my ECW (Extreme Cold Weather) gear.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Insider's guide and travel details

If you want a real insider's view, here's a link to the US Antarctic Program's participant guide:

I'll be leaving tomorrow at 12:30 and arrive at my B&B in Christchurch roughly 30 hours later. on Jan 1.

On the 2nd, I'll go to the USAP complex to get my extreme weather gear and, weather permitting, I'll leave for McMurdo Station on the 3rd (probably at some unholy pre-dawn time!)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Gearing up!

I'm getting ready to go back to the South Pole!

I spent yesterday in bed with the flu. Hannah had it on Christmas Eve and it hit Elaine on the 26th, so I knew it was coming and I REALLY didn't want to be sick during the 24 hours or so of travel to Christchurch, N.Z. Therefore, I was HAPPY when I got sick because the timing was perfect! I had a couple of hours' warning before it really hit, so I did all my morning chores, pulled together some supplies, and climbed into bed. I dozed and listened to audiobooks and podcasts from around 10AM to 10PM and felt like the worst had passed. I even slept straight through from midnight until 8AM!

Today I'm pulling together a packing list and making sure I've got everything on it Tomorrow I'll pop into work for a bit, get any last-minute items I think of, and finish packing. Tuesday, I board my plane at 10:25AM and 4 flights and 27 hours later I land in Christchurch!