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14 November, 2003

We are here!

On the wings of a mighty C141 we arrived at McMurdo Station in the early afternoon. Our flight was actually more comfortable than the commercial flight from Los Angles to Auckland, this was due to the fact that we had more leg room!

The pilot, Tom Larson from the San Deigo Air National Guard allowed me to sit on the flight deck for a while and he explained some of the differences in flying an aircraft in this part of the world as opposed to non polar regions. Compasses do not work too well here, so a GPS and grid system is used once you go greater than 60 degrees south.

Our landing was smooth as silk and when we de-planed, the vista in front of our eyes took your breath away. The air temperature was a pleasant 15 degrees F. and the wind was about 10mph. A bright sun filled the sky (and still does 7 hours later). Rising up from the flat surface of McMurdo sound, were some of the most spectacular mountains I have ever seen in person. And then, when I turned around, Mt. Eribus stood against the blue sky with a wisp of steam blowing from its summit. I was told the view was numinous, which means too spectacular for words.

It is late here and I am going to leave you now but I will write more tomorrow. One sad not, I was told that the Beardmore camp will not have a satillite link so our communication will be severely hampered. But I am sure we will find a way to get some images through.

Good night from the bottom of the world, or is it the top?


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