4 January, 1999
At the CDC we made our final preparations for departure to McMurdo Station on Ross Island. Our packed orange bags could weigh up to
75 lbs. combined. When we checked our gear to be stowed and were weighed wearing our ECW clothing, we relaxed until our flight was announced.
Wade Jeffrey of Florida was also waiting on the flight. Wade would be part of a group of researchers who would be leading a workshop
in McMurdo relative to ultraviolet radiation. Wade, no stranger
to Antarctica, worked with the Teachers Experiencing Antarctica (TEA) program during its first year.
Finally we were shuttled out to the Hercules LC 130 which the Air Force National Guard, NY would pilot to McMurdo. By fives
we boarded the Herc. We were really going!
During the flight, folks slept, read, ate, took pictures or tapped away at laptops. We were very lucky with weather and 7 1/2
hours later I got my first look at Antarctica from the flight
deck. First the sea ice, then the coast.......snow and ice with protrusions of dark shale colored rock above the gleaming white.
We flew south over the Leningradskaya area, past Mt.Melbourne
and came to a sliding stop near McMurdo.
The wooden paneled shuttle took us to Scott Base first to drop off our Kiwi travelers. Very happy they seemed too, to be at last
coming to roost in the green encampment. Then, just down the
road, we soon found ourselves in the National Science Foundation's chalet where we were briefed on McMurdo Base. The chalet contains
some great maps and other information relative to the base and continent. Ryan and I took up residence at the Hotel California.
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