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28 April, 2003

Everyone had assembled at the Ramada Inn late in the evening and was ready to ship out in the morning. We were flying out of the 109th Air Force Base in Schlectany, New York. This base was the staging area for the military and many private groups that are destined for Greenland. All of our gear was stacked into large pallets that was then loaded onto the C-130's. This parcticular day there were three different flights going to Greenland, two were military and one was private. Our group is considered private, as we are not funded by the military. The next flight that is planned to fly to Greenland from this base is in two weeks.

A C-130 is mainly used as a cargo plane and is not designed for the comfort of its passengers. There are four long cot style benches that have red slings that are used to lean back on. It is somewhat like a hammock style. Each person then buckles himself or herself in and is ready for a noisy flight. The props and vibrations cause a constant humming sound that seems to put most people to sleep. Earplugs are almost a necessity, however are not required. Because of the humming and ear plugs conversations are difficult at best. Sitting by all of my team members there is a sense of camaraderie as everyone is in the same dilemma shifting from one edge of their butt to the other similar to sitting through a very long movie. I enjoyed looking at different styles of drooling as people were trying to catch a few ZZZZZZZ's!

Our group consists of:

Dr. Joe McConnell - Principal Investigator

Greg Lamorey - Researcher

Jay Kyne - Driller

Ryan Banta - Graduate Researcher

Callie McConnell - Volunteer assistant

Lou Albershardt - Head Core Driller

Sue Root - Assistant Driller

Lars Long - Teacher/assistant/grunt worker

Each group's individual and research gear is of utmost importance. If one parcticular object does not make it could break an entire project. Dr. McConnell had sent most of his equipment ahead of time through VECO. VECO is a large organization with many facets of which one is called Polar Resources and provides resources for military and private groups going to the Polar Regions. Many of my outer layers including my parka and pants were be supplied by VECO in Kanger.

AFB 109 Loading dock.

Ryan and Lars in the C130.

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