Saturday, October 25, 2008
We came to Antarctica from New Zealand on an Air Force C17 cargo jet. In many ways it was more comfortable than a commercial airline--more room. Did need to wear earplugs, though.
The flight was 5 hours, and I got to do it three times just to get here. There's a term called "boomerang." That means you get in the plane, fly for several hours, and then turn around and go back to new Zealand because the weather was too bad to land in Antarctica. I had a 5 hour boomerang, and a few days later a 10 hour one. On that one, we got all the way here and had to turn back. All together I spent 11 days on paid vacation in Christchurch, NZ between these trips. It was a very nice all expenses paid vacation, and I got a paycheck too. Life's surprises!
The last sunrise and sunset until February happened this week. Now the sun is up all the time here. Sleeping is easy though. The dorm room has a very good black out curtain, so we go instantantly from day to night.
It also helps sleeping that my job is very physical. The only way to get around is walking. My boots are huge insulated steel-toed things. The surfaces are snow-covered, sprinkled with cinders for traction. Just walking is a lot of work. The cold is a drain, too.