29 December, 1996

Dec. 29

Finally, the adventure begins.  I arrived in New Zealand about twelve 
hours ago and can now make my first entry. 
Before beginning there are a few glitches that I need to point out.  
First of all, since our work is far from McMurdo station, in the 
wilderness of Antarctica, there are no satellite link ups.  We are 
dependent on the kindness of helicopter pilots and computer workers in 
McMurdo.  The weather is also a factor.  Most of the e-mail cannot be 
sent for two or three days after I have written it.  This also means a 
delay in answering your questions (I'll answer them at the end of each 
days Journal entry). 

Please note that there are other teacher's journals at the Rice website 
as well.  I recommend all of them and all for different reasons.  Try 
reading a few for yourself and see which you like best.  There's 
something for everyone in them.

I would also like to point out that I have a traveling companion with me 
by the name of D Bear.  D Bears owner is Carshena.  Carshena, a student 
at Hodgseon Vo-Tech, asked me if I would take D Bear to Antarctica and 
teach her about doing research there.

If we are lucky, some pictures to illustrate this journal will be 
included.  Keep an eye out for D Bear.

It was a long flight today---almost 24 hours to Christ Church New 
Zealand.  I started from Balt. Wash. airport about 3 pm, switched planes 
in Denver, and joined up with three other members of our research 
team---Jon Philipp, Mike Zieg, and Zac Stadel---in LA.  From LA we flew 
directly to New Zealand and a new day (we crossed the International Date 
Line).  In fact, while I am writing this on the 29th it is the 28th in 
the U.S.  With so many hours of travel I was able to meet people from 
England, New Zealand, and Australia. and to read all of Robert Falcon 
Scott's 1910-1912 Antarctic Journal (Scott and four of his men died 
attempting to reach the South Pole.  It's a very tragic tale.)

We are scheduled to receive our clothing tomorrow at the Antarctic 
Support Association.  They will provide everything for keeping 
warm---especially underwear.  After trying on and selecting our gear 
we'll return to our hotel and prepare to leave the following day (Dec. 31).

When I started out from Baltimore I felt relaxed and contented to be on 
my way to the fulfillment of  a lifetime dream.  But as the moment for 
departure draws nearer I am getting more and more excited. 
Return to Bill Philips' Page

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