3 October, 1996
Today's activity was to go to the International Antarctic Center in Christchurch for a briefing on how to dress to stay warm on the ice and to receive an issue of extreme cold weather gear. The Antarctic Support Association, ASA, issues clothing to all personal before they depart for the ice.
Before leaving the U.S., I sent ASA the sizes of all my clothing, from hat to shoe, plus everything in between. When I arrived at the CDC, there were two large duffel bags filled with my cold weather clothing waiting for me. I expected the parkas, wind pants, fleeced suits, and thermal boots but the number of pairs of gloves I was issued astounded me. There were ten pairs of different types of hand covering. Since all the clothing had to be tried to be certain of the fit, I spent as much time with gloves as with the rest of my gear.
Our team will rendezvous at 4:30 A.M. tomorrow for a seven-hour flight to McMurdo. We were told we would have to be dressed in our cold weather gear before boarding a military transport plane that is especially designed to land on the sea ice. The plane will not have enough fuel for a 4600-mile round trip flight so it must land and refuel. When the flight reaches the farthest point South it can go and still have enough fuel to return, a decision will be made whether to continue or turn back. If the conditions are not safe for landing or are deteriorating, the plane will be turned back to NZ.
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