I can’t believe that I am sitting in a cozy living room and blogging from ANTARCTICA! The kettle is on I am sitting on a couch and I am in Antarctica. Outside my window is a giant rack of wooden sleds. Just as soon as I post this blog I am going to have a proper wonder around town, McMurdo Station and take pictures that I can share with you all.
Yesterday I spent 5 hours flying on a C-17 from Christchurch to McMurdo. The flight, including the landing, was amazingly smooth. That is no small feat considering we landed on an ice runway. The 109th Air National Guard, from up state New York, fly our big planes. It is quite a different experience flying military air. I got to see what the inside of an airplane looks like (lots of wires and pipes, some insulation and a paratrooper recovery system). People and cargo flew together (people on the edges cargo in the middle). Ear plugs were obligatory.
Because the weather was so spectacular and calm we were allowed to go up on the flight deck in small groups for 5 minutes. I got my first view of Antarctica from the flight deck. It was amazing! There was snow and ice everywhere. The ice came in so many different shapes and colors!
Within minutes of landing we were whisked away to a brief orientation meeting. Then dinner, unpacking, and a lecture on the new Ross Island Wind farm (which is saving the US and NZ over 100,000 gallons of fuel!) Then jet lag caught up with me and it was off to bed.
This is a holiday weekend so town is pretty sleepy today. There will be a huge Thanksgiving dinner tonight. I think that I will help with the dishes (really…they asked for volunteers and you know how I feel about dirty dishes). I need to go through a whole bunch of trainings before I am allowed to wander outside of town, but that won’t happen until Monday.
In the meantime I will explore town… and take photos later today. I will try to have a more exciting post tomorrow.