Christchurch, south

Well, I’ve made it safe and sound all the way to the south pole, so I’ve got some catching up to do here…

On the 11th, I went to the CDC (Clothing Distribution Center) where we (all of us who are heading south to Antarctica) are issued two (three for those wintering over) tote bags full of ECW (Extreme Cold Weather) clothing. Basically layers of fleece, windbreaker pants/jacket and “Big Red” – a large Canadian goose down jacket. Possibly the warmest jacket mankind has ever known. We grantees get the red ones, Raytheon employees get green or brown ones depending on their job. A grantee is a scientist ‘granted’ the right to go to Antarctica as opposed to employees of RPSC (Raytheon Polar Service Company). Raytheon has the contract with the NSF (National Science Foundation) and the USAP (United States Antarctic Program) to manage all of the logistics, personnel and US stations in Antarctica. Enough acronyms for you?

The next day started early, I was back at the CDC at 5:30am to ‘suit up’ in my ECW for the flight to McMurdo station on the coast of Antarctica. Fortunately, we flew in a C-17 which makes it a 5 hour flight rather than the 8 hour flight on a C-130.

More details and photos when I both get the chance and the satellites are up..


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