Friday, November 27, 2009

Getting There is half the fun

An influential reader (full disclosure: my wife) thought that it would be helpful if I posted a map of Antarctica, showing where we're going. We will be on the Ross Ice Shelf, near the bottom of this map. Initially, we will be based at McMurdo station, shown by the red dot. This is the main U. S. base in Antarctica, a major logistical hub. There, we will go through "Snow School" and other training, gather our food, tents, generators, other equipment, etc. Then, we will be helicoptered to Moore's Bay, about 70 miles away. Very roughly, it is below and to the right of the "F" in "Shelf".

We will travel there via New Zealand. We will fly from San Francisco to Christchurch, NZ, via Sydney, Australia (not the most direct route, but at least it's only one stop), crossing the international date line and arriving Monday morning. On Tuesday, we will go to the Clothing
Distribution Center (CDC), where we will be issued a full range of cold-weather clothing. On Wednesday, weather permitting, we will fly down to McMurdo, most likely on an air force C-17.

This photo, from 2006, shows the C-17 that I flew on to McMurdo, for a trip to work on IceCube. Then, we flew C-17s to McMurdo, spend the night there, and then continued to the South Pole on an LC-130, which landed on skis. The bottom photo shows an LC130 landing at the Pole, also from 2006.


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