To Antarctica, Part 2: Almost ALMOST there!

 

 

Our initial planned “ice date” was October 1, or yesterday. unfortunately, we were woken at 4:30 that morning with a call telling us that our flight was 24 hour delayed due to weather. I spent most of yesterday repacking, catching up on sleep, and catching up on email. We were rescheduled to a 7:30 meeting time today.

This morning, we were woken up at 5:40am with a call telling us that we were 4 hours delayed – with a new meeting time of 11:30!

 

After breakfast and a bit of nervous morning work, we departed back to the antarctic center for a first attempt at flying down to Antarctica!

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In the terminal

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our large air-filled ice boots

We put on our bunny boots…

got our ANTARCTIC BOARDING PASSESOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

 

and headed back to the US Antarctic Program campus…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAll the way to the terminal (Yup, there’s a terminal!).

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Kevin and I with our “big red” jackets.

After checking our bags, we went into the terminal, sat in the waiting room and watched some safety videos.

 

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School buses!

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packed full of ice-goers, red bags and red coats.

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Kevin and I on the way to the C-17

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Dr. Lunden (GQ)

We were finally called out onto the buses to take us to the plane!
A quick wall of text here – there are three different planes that can take you down to the ice. The classic option is the LC-130, A prop plane that has been in service in operation Deep Freeze for a long time. In order to fill in, the program often charters a commercial AirBus jet to ferry people. Today we were boarding a C17 – an incredibly massive cargo/personnel jet that will take us down there in 5 hours.

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On our way on to the plane!

These planes are impressive inside – cargo stacked up to the bare ceilings, wires and ducting exposed. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

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You could either sit in the center rows (more traditional airline seats),…OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOr along the wall in the paratrooper seats.

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Unfortunately this awe was short-lived… we were all loaded up and headed down the runway when we got the no-fly order from McMurdo Station. Apparently a large cloud of icy fog moved in very quickly and obscured the runway down there. We’re currently waiting for our orders for tomorrow, hoping we’ll be getting up nice and early for a great day ahead!

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Best,

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