1 November, 2000
FYI answer for 10/31/00
Only about 100,000 people in the world have ever set foot on Antarctica a least once.
Antarctica's population is zero because everyone who comes here is just a visitor. You must have an appropriate passport or visa from your country, whether you are a visitor, science researcher, or support personnel.
I am happy to say that I am corresponding from Antarctica now. After arriving at the CDC in Christchurch this morning at 6:15 am, I dressed for the cold climate of the C-141 cargo plane in which we traveled to McMurdo Station. The rest of the ECW was put in my orange duffle bag, which you may be seeing a lot of later. All of us that would be making the flight were then weighed, to make sure the aircraft was not too heavy, and then given safety instructions and flight information. We boarded the aircraft at 8:15 am. The flight took off at 8:56 am and we successfully landed in a dense fog and not-so-good conditions at 2:05 pm. As I got off the plane, the bright white landscape was almost ghostly.
We were shuttled from the runway, which is made on the sea ice off Ross Island. At this time of year, the ice is still solid enough to use for an airfield. We arrived at the NSF (National Science Foundation) Chalet at McMurdo Station, Antarctica. This station and many programs here are part of the USAP (United States Antarctic Program). After more instructions, introductions, and information gathering, I received my temporary room assignment and key.
Before I meet with the members of the research team with which I will be working, I must complete a number of classes, lectures, and day-schools so that I am prepared for all that I will do and come in contact with for the next two months. There are many guidelines, procedures, and rules that go with coming to Antarctca. This i a very unique experience with many opportunities, but it is a dangerous habitat with many unknowns. I want to be smart and safe, just like we should be in our science labs, classrooms, and schools.
I am unable to look in the sky and tell what time it is because it does not get dark here. The sun, when it comes out from this fog and clouds, will appear to circle around us across the horizon.
Right now it is the fall season in the ___________ Hemisphere and the spring season in the _____________
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