Friday, January 06, 2012

Made it back!

We got up at 5:15AM on Thursday, grabbed some breakfast, donned our ECW gear and took the hour plus ride to Pegasus Field. It's only ~14 miles away, but the Terra Bus can only travel at a maximum of 25 m.p.h. to avoid tearing up the snow and ice roads and the route to the airfield is rather circuitous.

We were on the plane by 9:30AM, but it had mechanical problems so there was about an hour's delay while they switched all the cargo to a new plane. When we got on the second plane, I was able to find a good seat on the end of a row and four relatively painless hours later I was back at the South Pole.

Because I'm a veteran, I got to skip the orientation talk and go directly to my room. This year I've got a room with a view (of the next wing of rooms). This isn't necessarily a good thing -- the sun is out 24 hours, so a LOT of light sneaks in through the window shade. Fortunately, a previous inhabitant left a thick piece of cardboard I can jam into the window well and block out 99% of the light.

I didn't want to go to sleep too early, so I trudged through the rest of the day and collapsed at around 9:30PM. I didn't want to stay up much later because I knew I was getting up early again today.

An airdrop was scheduled for 6AM. Planes can't land at South Pole in the winter (because it's so cold here), but if there's an emergency they might need supplies delivered, so the National Guard unit does a practice drop once a year.

I woke up this morning at 5:20AM, met with some other IceCubers and we all started to walk out past the Summer Camp to watch the airdrop. When we were about halfway out, I asked one of the nearby "natives" if we were going the right way, and she told us the airdrop had been postponed until Monday. At least I know I'll be able to sleep in tomorrow.

So far my work time has largely been spent setting up my laptop for the South Pole (getting access to various servers, adding my local email account to my mail reader and forwarding my IceCube mail to the South Pole account, etc.)

1 comment:

Hiam Garner said...

Glad you have a great view of the bulding next door, Better than a room with no view. Stay warm. It is hot here at 40 degrees. This means the ice fisherman are careful, still fishing, but careful.