Thursday, December 12, 2013

Happy Antarctica Day!

Welcome, all Antarctica Day celebrants!

Today's big event was a group departure for my project. The four drillers were scheduled to leave two days ago and Gonzalo, one of my co-workers, was supposed to leave yesterday, but the last two flights were cancelled. All of them were ready to leave today!

The plane was due in just after noon, so everyone had a leisurely lunch then got dressed and assembled at DA (Destination Alpha, one of two main exits for the station). After waiting about 15-20 minutes, an announcement on the station PA instructed all passengers to proceed to the departure area.

Ralf gave them a South Pole limo ride from the station to the departure point, then everyone wandered around saying their goodbyes. It seemed to take a LOOONG time before they announced that passengers could board.

The first movement we saw was one of the cargo loaders moving its load back to the cargo shed, followed by another loader taking the baggage off the plane. The plane had trouble with its hydraulic system and the crew were worried about landing in McMurdo with passengers or the extra cargo weight. So everyone is spending an extra night at the Pole!

In other news, we've been told to expect visitors to the tourist camp in about 30 hours or so. This will add to an already busy weekend. The South Pole Telescope is holding their annual open house tomorrow night and the South Pole Marathon will be held on Sunday. After all that frivolity, I'll be ready to leave for McMurdo on Monday so I can get some rest! (Although seeing the current problems with getting planes to Pole and back, I'll consider myself lucky if I make it home by Christmas!)

1 comment:

Zachary Glowacki said...

Here's to good weather and healthy planes!