Monday, December 8, 2008

Arrival in New Zealand

Katie and I have successfully arrived in Christchurch, New Zealand! Our flights were long, but relatively easy.

Travel to Antarctica is always a little bit chaotic. Plans can change at the last minute. As soon as we arrived at our hotel in Christchurch, we learned that our flight to Antarctica had changed. Instead of leaving two days later, we're leaving first thing tomorrow morning! Even though we would have preferred a nap after our 36 hours of traveling from Dartmouth, we immediately had to leave the hotel to collect all of our issued cold weather gear and repack our bags.

There are many layers of clothing that we wear while we're on the Ice. We have to try on all of the clothes to make sure they fit. Because Antarctica is very cold, we have three layers of clothes for warmth. We wear polypro long underwear pants and shirts , and then two layers of fleece. In this photo, Katie is wearing one of the fleece layers:
We also have special boots called "bunny boots". The boots are very insulated and water-proof to make sure our feet stay warm and dry. The insulation makes these boots very bulky and heavy, so walking in them can become hard!

On top of the warm clothes, we have a wind-proof layer. We wear a down parka with a fur-lined hood, wind pants, and goggles. Here is a photo of Katie wearing all of her layers, ready for the Ice!
Once we have picked out all of our clothes, we pack everything into the two orange duffel bags. Those two bags contain all of the gear and clothing we will use for the next two months!

After we were outfitted with our gear, we were finally able to return to our hotel to relax. But, our flight to Antarctica is very early tomorrow morning. We have to leave the hotel by 6 A.M. So, after a quick walk around town to enjoy the warmth and dinner at our favorite restaurant in Christchurch, we are going to bed. We have been traveling for a long time, and are very tired!

Keep your fingers crossed that the weather cooperates and we make it to McMurdo tomorrow!

1 comment:

  1. My friends in the 2nd grade at Thetford Elementary had some really good questions about New Zealand and the gear we collected there. Here are their questions and the answers:

    Q: What language do they speak mostly in New Zealand?
    A: In New Zealand, people mostly speak English. New Zealand was colonized by the British, just like the U.S. and Australia, so most people speak English. There are also native people in New Zealand called the Maori (Mauw-ree). The Maori are Polynesian people that are similar in culture to Hawaii, Samoa, Tahiti, and other Polynesian cultures. The Maori population in New Zealand also speaks English, but many also speak their native language of Maori.

    Q: How warm was it in Christchurch....or was it?
    A: It was warm in Christchurch. It was about 65 or 70 degrees. I never looked at a thermometer, so I'm not sure of the exact temperature. But, it was raining while I was there, so the sun didn't come out to make it hot. I enjoyed walking around outside in sandals, though!

    Q: Are those parkas and bunny boots really heavy?
    A: The parkas and bunny boots are very heavy, yes! A pair of bunny boots weighs 5 pounds. The parka weighs about 2 or 3 pounds. It's a lot of extra weight to carry when you're walking and hiking!

    Q: Becky bought 9 pairs of bunny boots. She lost 3 boots. How many bunny boots does Becky have left?
    A: Ah, a tricky one! 18-3=15