Wednesday, December 11, 2013


Travel in Antarctica always has a degree of uncertainty because weather can change in an hour or two and make it difficult to land at the other end. The Wisconsin drillers were scheduled to leave yesterday but that flight was cancelled and today's flight has also been cancelled due to weather.

My flight is already changing even though I'm not leaving for almost a week. My departure date has been bumped up a day, from the 17th to the 16th. I've heard that this is because they're making fewer flights between Pole and McMurdo, and between McMurdo and Christchurch.

Flight in Antarctica always involves a "bag drag". Here at the South Pole, instead of showing up at the airport an hour before the flight and checking in my luggage, I'll need to walk out to the Cargo shed by 3PM the (work) day before my flight with my checked bag. That bag will be weighed and taken away, and I won't see it until several hours after I've landed on the other end.

Since I'm now leaving sometime on Monday and Cargo is closed on Sunday, I'll need to be packed by 2:30PM Saturday. Of course, my flight might get bumped a day or two so I might not really leave until Tuesday or Wednesday. There's also a chance that they'll try to put me on the next flight out of McMurdo, so I might not see my checked bag until Christchurch. This means that I need to plan to be without my checked bag for at least 4 days. I'm already planning on doing laundry tomorrow so it'll be dry on Saturday and making sure I finish up all the work I wanted to get done here at Pole.

There's been no sign of any of the British groups here at Pole, but we did have a minor British Invasion. One of the new arrivals brought in a copy of "Day of the Doctor", the latest Doctor Who episode which aired everywhere else around Thanksgiving. Last night there was a showing in the downstairs lounge. I already feel like I'm back in civilization!

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