I made it to pole today, after 5 straight days of traveling. This time I was with Brad and Abby for the whole trip, and we had a great time in Christchurch. Notably, we had some great Indian food and beer while in Christchurch, and we went for a walk through the botanical gardens. Since it is spring right now in the southern hemisphere, everything was in bloom. On the way through the gardens, I found a really big tree to climb, and Brad found some baby ducks in a pond to take pictures of. However, all good things come to an end, and soon we were off to McMurdo.
When we arrived in McMurdo, it was a beautiful sunny day, and a balmy 11F out. After our arrival briefing, dinner, and bag drag, we decided to go on a hike to Hut point, and then up a ridge to where we could see Mt. Erebus.
Transport for our flight to pole was at 7:30am (actually rather late for transport–usually it’s way early), and we were in the plane taxiing down the runway by 8:05am. It was the most efficient packing and taking off of a plane that I’d ever seen. Partway through the flight I got to go up to the cockpit, where I was able to mountain ranges and a bazillion little dials that must have indicated something useful.
By 11:30am we had landed at the pole, where we stepped off the plane into a pleasant -42F day. The windchill was a little rough at -78F, but certainly not the worst I’ve seen. We were greeted by our trusty winterovers Ross and Erik, who despite being slightly toasty were delighted to see us. We’ve taken over the telescope for the summer, and they get to go home in a few days. It’s the start of another season at pole for me.