Men Wanted: For hazardous journey. Low wages, bitter cold, long hours of complete darkness. Safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in event of success.Well, that quote kind sums it up. Thankfully this was not my description, however it was that of one Ernest Shackleton in the The London Times, on December 29th, 1913 looking for volunteers to venture Southward on his ill fated expedition.
Granted, this journey has been planned somewhat better, with somewhat modern amenities and means of transportation much more favorable than that of a century ago. So began my day in Christchurch on one of these fancy new rides. The process is to show up 2 hours or so prior to the scheduled flight, check in, dress up and then sit around with your gear waiting anxiously to board and head out. About 50 of us showed up for the event, went through the screening, briefing and boarding and we were off for our adventure.
|USAP Passenger Terminal, CHC|
|My view...yup a helicopter IN a plane.|
|Catching some Zzzzzzz.....note Santa in the 3rd row.|
|I was not kidding that's a Eurocopter in my seat.|
|The Outer Sea Ice edge|
|Another view on the ice edge|
|Air cargo handling is a critical part in Antarctica. Some stuff can't get warm, some stuff can't get cold.|
|Up in the BRIGHT cockpit of the C-17|
|Tabular icebergs (calved off shelf ice) embedded in the seasonal ice.|
|At last, land!|
|A first view of Mcmurdo and Ross Island from the Sea Ice Runway|
|A pair of LC-130 Hercules Aircraft, or "ski-130's" flown by the NY ANG|
|One sweet ride...|
|....Into another! This is "Ivan" our passenger mover|
|A clear, brisk and sunny day! About 15 degrees F and 40 knots of wind.|
|A pair of Basler DC-3T aircraft owned by a Canadian operator I work and fly with here|
So since the flight, I have checked in. Got my keys to my room, went through survival refresher training most of the day. I may go fly tomorrow, I am unsure as of now. Depends what the missions are. Settling in to my other life now. So far so good. Worked out for 90 minutes "spinning" on a killer new podcast I downloaded so these should keep me busy after hours. I need to mix up cycling with some other stuff so I am looking to pick up cross country skiing too. Free gear here and let's say the conditions are ideal—flat and white for 2000 miles.
Until next time, Take care!