Wednesday, December 5, 2007

December 6, 2007
Christchurch NZ

Time: 8 am
Latitude: 43 29' 25" S
Longitude: 172 41' 8 "E
Temperature: 13°C (55°F)
Wind speed: 14kmh (22mph)
Wind Chill:
Clouds: mostly cloudy
Wind direction: South
Relative Humidity: 77%
Barometric Pressure: rising
Precipitation: 0

What a difference a good night’s sleep is, especially when you do not have to try and sleep sitting up. After an outstanding breakfast with cereal, eggs, bacon, cooked tomatoes, coffee, orange juice, and toast – I am ready for a nap. No really I am ready to see some sights of Christchurch that I did not see yesterday or the last time I was here seven years ago on my way to Antarctica. At 12:30 we have to go back to the American NZ-Antarctic base and the clothing distribution center and get our extreme cold weather clothing and pack for tomorrow morning’s 8 hour hop over to Antarctica. We would leave here at 6am and sit at the airport hoping that we can fly over. If not we return to our hotels and wait another day. Or we might board the ski equipped National Guard C-17 (see an earlier blog about the Air National Guard and ANG flights) fly half way across and have the pilots decide that the weather is not good to land and fly back to NZ. Then go back to our hotels and wait until the next day. They call that trip a slingshot when you get halfway across and have to turn around. The weather is the key on the flight tomorrow’s weather will bring a couple of choices. Sleep in and spend another day in NZ. Go to the airport, turn around and come back to the hotel for another night in NZ. Board the plane, fly halfway out and slingshot back and spend another night in NZ. Or fly straight across and spend our first night in McMurdo Antarctica.

Our trip to the Clothing Distribution Center (CDC) was fun. We were issued clothing that was approximately our size and then we tried everything on, one item at a time to make sure it all fit and worked properly - like zippers. It took about 2 hours to hear the presentations about clothing that we would need and then to try everything on and get it into the correct bag to make sure it went with us on our flight across tomorrow. Some items like shorts and sandals we store there and pick up in late Januray upon our return.

Now back at the hotel by 4pm and a few hours to kill before supper and one last night (?) in the hotel. 5am wake up tomorrow to get dressed and catch a taxi back to the CDC to get in our cold weather clothing and off to Antarctica.


Norma from Canada said...

Thank you for the detailed account Zach! We will be watching your progress with interest and hope that you are able to fly out soon!


zach said...

Thanks Norma and class.