Friday, October 04, 2002

Okay- first posting to this site since the whirlwind journey began. After 4 flights which all went smoothly, my coworkers and i finally reached Christchurch, New Zealand the morning of Oct. 2. Both of my PhD advisors (Bob and Jay), two other students from Montana State (Jeff and Darren), one Nat'l Marine Mammal Lab researcher from Seattle (Mike), one PhD student from Minnesota (Christine), and myself will make up the crew for the first part of the season. When the season will actually get underway remains to be seen. Our first two attempts to fly down to McMurdo Station were turned around ("boomeranged") due to poor weather for landing on ice. We are flying with about 40 other folks - a combination of researchers and support staff - from helicopter pilots to dishwashers. Morale declines exponentially with the number of boomerangs experienced, as it entails getting up extremely early, bundling into ECW (extreme cold weather) gear and sitting on a military jet inhaling jet fuel fumes and rubbing knees with the person across from you, not having conversations below shouting level, etc etc for up to 8 hours, only to get off the plane exactly where you got on!! But, it seems to be fairly common due to changable weather on the ice.

So, I am currently in Christchurch with plans to fly out again at 6am tomorrow. Keep in touch!

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