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2 November, 1999

Chirstchurch New Zealand Tuesday

Deployment Day 2

5:45 a.m. Arrived at the CDC to gear up for the trip. This entailed putting on long underwear, fleece pants and jacket, wind pants, wool socks, bunny boots, and the red parka. We also had to have ready a pair of gloves, a hat, and snow goggles. This part of the routine is called "bag drag" because you drag your bags from the CDC to the Antarctic Terminal. We are permitted to have one carry on and no more than 70 pounds of storable cargo. I checked one orange duffel bag and carried another with items that would be damaged if they froze and with a change of clothing in the event that this flight was cancelled. I carried my cameras in my coat so that I could continue to take photographs inside the plane. Everything must be weighed, including me!

At the Antarctic Terminal, they check your passport and give you a boarding pass that you wear around your neck. And then you wait............

7:15 a.m. We were put on a one hour hold. We eat, sleep, read, walk, check our email at the NSF Computer Center.

8:15 a.m. We were given a safety check by the flight crew much like the kind you receive on commercial airlines. We were shown the oxygen masks, a smoke mask, and the life preservers. We also watched a safety video on Antarctica. They explained the weather conditions that you might encounter on the ice. Weather is classified as Condition 3 which means that you have unrestricted travel around McMurdo and surrounding areas, Condition 2 indicated that some travel is restricted around the base, and a Condition 1 requires that all personnel remain indoors. No one is permitted to be outside. After watching the video, we are put on another delay and told to be ready to go at 10:00 a.m. If you would like to see photos of McMurdo for this day, check the website of another teacher stationed there at ../smith/11.2.1999.html. The photos really show the difference between a Condition 1 and a Condition 2. More reading, sleeping, talking, etc.

10:30 a.m. We are informed that the weather at McMurdo is a Condition 2 and that the flight has been cancelled. Groans and grumbles can be heard. We are all so disappointed. Back to the CDC where we change back into our street clothes and find out where we'll be sleeping tonight. Deployment is rescheduled for 6:15 a.m. November 3.

At 12:30, Bess, Mark, and I decided to have a little fun and went on a tour of 4 wineries in the Canterbury region. Canterbury is similar to a "state" in the U.S. It was an incredible adventure into the countryside! We saw herds of deer and sheep, alpaca, and emu! Because of the rain (it was pouring) we were not able to see the Southern Alps. The tour took our minds off our disappointment for awhile!

Answer to yesterday's question: The rocks in West Antarctica are three billion years old, among the oldest on Earth. Those on the East side are only 700 million years old!

Today's question: What is the International Geophysical Year?


JUST FOR KIDS!!!!!! At 5:45 a.m. we arrived at the airport! Because we are flying to a very cold place, we have to be dressed for the Antarctic climate. We put on long underwear, fleece pants and jacket, wind pants, wool socks, big bunny boots, and our red parkas. We carried our hats and gloves. Everything that goes on the plane must be weighed. After we were weighed with our luggage, we received a boarding pass that we wore around our necks. And then we waited. And we waited. And we waited. During this time we ate, slept, talked to other people, and watched a video about safety in Antarctica.

At 10:30 a.m. we were told that our flight was cancelled because the weather at McMurdo was too windy. If you would like to see pictures of McMurdo for today, go to ../smith/11.2.1999. We were, again, very disappointed.

We spent the afternoon driving around the countryside. We saw deer, sheep, alpaca (these look like llamas) and emu! It was a fun afternoon!

Answer to yesterday's questions: The West Antarctic rocks are three billion years old! The rocks from East Antarctica are much younger, only 700 million years old!

Today's question: What is the International Geophysical Year?

Wish us luck for tomorrow!


Waiting, waiting, and more <> waiting. Note the relaxed atmosphere...we've taken off our boots! Sharon, Julie, and Maite

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