Wednesday, December 5, 2007

December 5th, 2007 - Wednesday (we jumped a day ahead going over the international date line)
Auckland Airport and Christchurch, New Zealand

Time: 10 am
Latitude: 37° 00' 16" S
Longitude: S174° 48' 49" E
Temperature: 19°C (66°F)
Wind speed: 20kmh (12 mph)
Wind Chill:
Clouds: overcast
Wind direction: East
Relative Humidity:83%
Barometric Pressure: falling
Precipitation: light rain

It was a long flight with little sleep for me from LAX but I did see three and a half free movies. The fourth movie only had 5 minutes to go to finish before we made our final approach in Auckland and the captain turned off all the music and films. Each person has a personal movie screen so it was only me that did not get to see the end of their movie – something about a falling star. The food onboard was terrific and the Quantas Airline personnel are always very friendly.

After landing we had to retrieve our bags and then recheck them for the flight to Christchurch on the South island of New Zealand (picture). One of Anais’s bags did not make it and she had to wait in line for quite a while to make sure it would be shipped to her at her hotel. The five of us: Sylvia, Anais, John, Gabby, and I are staying together to help each other. It also gives us a chance to learn more about each other before we work together for the next two months. All of our flights and arrangements (after LAX) are coordinated all the way to Antarctica. I think that we are a terrific group and will work very well together.

We are all a little tired and after we get to our hotels in Christchurch (, after another plane ride and approximatley noon arrival, I think it is time for a nap before supper (at least for me). There we will meet up with Dr Ken Taylor (Ken) who is the director of the WAIS Divide ice coring program. Tomorrow it is off to the Clothing Distribution Center (CDC) back near he Christchurch airport where we will get our cold weather clothing, pack our Antarctic bags, and prepare for a scheduled flight on Friday over the ocean to McMurdo base and the real start of our Antarctic adventure.

PS. Later that day at 10pm. We made it to Christchurch a few hours later in 100% sunshine and warm - 21° C (70° F). Time to hit the hotels, a shower, and lunch. Between the five of us we only lost 2 bags –Yea! We all walked around the beautiful town of Christchrch to buy a few trinkets and see some sights. About 6 pm we met at a restaurant for supper (picture). We had some of the best piza I have had - BBQ salmon. Two of the drillers on our project, Bob and Paul, came with us. Great food and a lot of fun, especially Sylvia's dessert - thanks for sharing Sylvia.

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