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1 November, 1999

Good Morning Everyone,

"My bags are packed I'm ready to go", as the song says. Biggest problem right now is what clothing will I have to leave behind in Christchurch in order to meet my weight limit for the flight to Mc Town. Total "stuff" with me: one duffle bag (clothing and toiletries) and one back pack full of cameras, disks, and film; and one laptop. We shall see what happens when we get there.

What does one do the morning of the day he leaves for Antarctica. Got up at 0500 hours, went to computer to check email, even at the last minute people are still sending me addresses to be put on my email list. For those of you who did as of 1025 EST, done. Woke my oldest daughter to say good bye and go over "stuff" that she will take over doing to see that the household still runs while I'm on the ICE. Its quite a responsibility, but we raised her and I have total confidence that all will be AOK and taken care of perfectly. Went to Framingham to have coffee with my dearest friend Darcy (I promise Darcy, I will return). On the way by Holliston High I almost stopped to check on everything with my sub and say one last good bye to my first period class, but didn't. Got to cut the ties now. I wonder how my three early arriving peers got into the school this morning. You see I open the door to the science department when I get in (somewhere between 3:45 and 5:15 AM) and they arrive about 6:00, still a good twenty minutes before the custodian opens the building. Stopped by the florist to buy roses for my bride and took them to the cemetery to place them on her grave and to have one final "chat" with Ingrid before I left. Got home to find answering machine screwed up finally got it fixed. Then the good bye phone calls came in fast and furious. All the kids called and those that couldn't call, because of work, had their spouses call in their stead. I'm so fortunate to have four great children, two great daughter-in-laws and one great son-in-law, or as I refer to them as "My Magnificent Seven". Took one final hot bath, it will be two months before I can take anything but a military shower, and when I am in the dry valleys only on per week. How hot the water WON'T be is another story too. Got dressed an sat down to write this quick entry. Now to go through and check for my passport, tickets and permits then it is off to the ICE.

Next time you hear from me I will have already traveled 957 miles to Christchurch and then whatever else it is from there to McTown.

"See" you next from Antarctica!

Penguin Peter the Polar Man

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