Saturday, January 02, 2010

I'm heading back

I've commenced my third trip to the South Pole!

I left Madison on January 1 at 2:20PM CST and four flights (and 31 hours) later I was in my room in New Zealand! That includes a 3 hour layover in LAX and a 10 minute "layover" in Sydney, Australia. Nothing gets your blood pumping after a 14.5 hour flight like having to sprint to the next gate!

This year I tried two different techniques for adjusting to the time change (New Zealand is 19 hours ahead of Madison). I took some melatonin right when I got on the plane at LAX, and I ate supper as soon as I got to LAX and then didn't eat anything for 14 hours after that until they served breakfast on the plane -- the extended fast supposedly resets your internal clock and tells your body that the first meal is "breakfast". Either way, I didn't sleep any more than normal (maybe 6 hours) but felt great all day, got in a 20 minute run, and will easily be awake until 10PM or so!

The long Quantas flight has an in-seat entertainment system (which, by the way, was rebooted a couple of times at the start of the flight, so I know it's a hacked up version of Red Hat Linux running on top of X.) I watched two movies, "The Hurt Locker" set in modern-day Iraq, and "The English Patient" set in pre-WWII Egypt and Arabia. Coincidentally, both movies had a major character who disarmed bombs, and both movies featured an actor from the T.V. show "Lost"!

I forgot my cosmetics bag at home, so tomorrow morning I'll go out and buy shampoo, soap, toothpaste, etc. and then at 1PM I'll go back out to the USAP facility by the airport, get all my gear and find out when the Antarctic flight leaves. If all goes well, I'll arrive in Antarctica in two days and be at the South Pole in three!

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