3 January, 1999
Preparing to move South began at the Clothing Distribution
Center (CDC) in Christchurch , NZ.
We saw a video on the extreme environment of Antarctica and how to dress to ensure warmth and comfort. Many of us asked for additional water bottles to take into the field with us, to make sure we stayed hydrated in the arid Antarctic climate.
Next, we were instructed on the benefits of each arcticle of ECW gear we were issued. It is recommended that those who have never
been to a polar environment take everything issued. I
traded my white "bunny boots" for the blue boots instead
because they are just as warm, lighter and I would be working in a dry environment. Those who would work near water, would be better served with the waterproof bunnies.
Now the trying on of the ECW duds --- m.any of us were sorry to learn that we had to trade up for a larger size of this or that. I rationalized that some of the arcticles of clothing were cut for men instead of women. I was relieved to hear that the Antarctic
stations are equipped with gyms to whittle away a few lbs. In addition to what you bring with you, it is said that one does tend to gain weight when in Antarctica.
We began to think ahead as to what items we would leave in NZ,
what we would stow in the cargo hold of the plane and what we
would carry on with us. Anything stowed may be susceptible to freezing unless other arrangements are made.
We headed back to our hotel, in our case the Windsor. The folks there took prodigiously good care of us, always posting info on flights and shuttle times. I was delighted to meet up with TEA
Elke Bergholz at breakfast one morning. Elke would be a little longer in Christchurch waiting for her research partner. Ryan Bay, graduate student at UC Berkeley in astrophysics, and my research mentor, and I would leave the next day.
We left Christchurch today, but the plane had technical difficulties and we were left to enjoy a day in the city.
Toured the beautiful city botanical gardens and the Canterbury Museum. I could have spent more time in the Antarctic exhibit
which included displays on the exploration, life and scientific research on the continent.
The shuttle would arrive to take us to our plane at 5:30 the next morning.
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