Monday, December 10, 2012

Almost time to go!

I have 4 more days in the U.S. before I leave for Antarctica. On Friday I begin the journey south.

You can check out the link on the right to see the interactive version of this map, showing my travel route.
I'll be in transit for a total of 29 hours, from the time I leave my house until the time my plane lands in Christchurch, NZ. Because of the International Date Line, I'll land almost exactly two days later! I then spend a couple days in Christchurch completing some safety trainings, getting outfitted with my Extreme Cold Weather gear (lovingly called our ECW), and enjoying some sunshine and fresh fruit before I finish the journey and fly to McMurdo Station on Tuesday the 18th. That means a week from tomorrow, my feet are scheduled to be on Antarctic soil! Of course, that's assuming the weather cooperates and we can fly according to schedule. You never know...

In the remaining few days before I leave, I'm busy packing the rest of my gear. I have to pack my snow boots, my favorite pairs of long underwear, gloves, hats, and other warm items to be comfortable in the Antarctic summer, which is usually around 0°C in McMurdo at this time of year (that's 32°F). I also have to pack shorts and t-shirts so that I have something to wear in New Zealand, where it will be in the mid-7 to upper-20's °C (that's the 70's in °F). I'll also be packing some field gear that I need to carry with me, like knee pads for getting down to sample soil, the machine I use to measure carbon dioxide flux, notebooks, and my favorite trowel.

Well, I'd better get busy and finish packing!