I reached McMurdo today. The team were expecting me to arrive a day later, so when I reached McMurdo, there was no one there to meet me. I was surprised, but figured they had some urgent stuff to take care of. Then I went through a series of orientations and picked up my dorm room key. I was pleasantly surprised to see my dorm room this time. It is a different dorm than last year and houses only 2 people, unlike last year when we were 5 people in a room. I kept my stuff in the room and came back to find a guy roommate, to the astonishment of us both. Fortunately the matter got sorted out fast, and now I have the room to myself.
Coming to McMurdo seemed like coming home. It did not feel like I had been away for 10 months, rather it felt like a gap of only a few days.
In the evening, I went to the galley hoping that I would see someone there. I wandered around for an hour and still saw no one from my team. Finally, I decided to eat dinner alone. Halfway through my dinner, Kristof and Chris happened to spot me and I had the rest of my dinner with the team. They updated me on the status of various things they were working on.
Finally, I called it a day and went to bed at around 9:00p.m and slept well.
Here is the story in pictures.
I arrived in Christchurch and took the shuttle to my hotel. It was cold and raining. I barely had the time to sit down for a bit when I had to leave for the Clothing Distribution Center (CDC) center for extreme cold weather (ECW) gear issue.
Then I went for a walk in the Botanical gardens, which are an absolute delight.
Finally, I had dinner with some other people headed to McMurdo and the South Pole.