At Lake Bonney

October 28, 2009

Finally the weather cleared and the entire team had reached Bonney. We flew to help with the Bot-house construction at West Lake Bonney. The Bot-house is up and the carpenters are setting up the electricity and propane heating today. We took the morning off to fix up the stuff in our tent, and clean-up the East Lake Bonney living area.

It was a pretty miserable day for me yesterday.  The rooms at McMurdo are not cleaned for ages. In the process of vacuuming the room, I inhaled some dust that resulted in throat inflammation and trouble breathing. Getting sick in McMurdo is almost a right of passage – that’s what happens with 6 people per dorm room, multiple changing room-mates, almost  1000 people packed in small area, and hardly any cleaning of dorm rooms.

Anyway,  I hardly got any sleep the night before last, and then took the helo flight to Lake Bonney, and was out working (or at least trying to work) in the cold and it was pretty miserable. I did manage to stay warm and sleep well in my tent last night. I am much better today, though my voice is almost gone and I still feel a bit fatigued. Bill says that this is an adjustment phase and I will feel fine soon.

Vickie, Chris and Rachel getting ready for the helo flight to Bonney.

Vickie, Chris and Rachel getting ready for the flight to Bonney.

Chris and I in the helicopter.

Chris and I in the helicopter during flight.

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View during flight to Bonney.

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East Lake Bonney camp. This will be our home for the next 5 weeks.

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Myself in front of the Bot-house which is being set-up by the carps (for the most part) with Bill's supervision.

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Chris, Bart (on the stairs) and Kristof setting up part of the Bot-house.

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Some of our cargo (the robot's batteries) being unloaded from a helicopter).

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A helicopter flying a sling load. Background is Taylor glacier.

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One of our ATVs ran out of fuel on the way to Bonney camp from Bot-house. This is about 12 min at about 10 mph.The other ATV had to run back to Bot-house to get fuel.

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At Auckland aiport

October 17, 2009

I am at Auckland, NZ airport, drinking some nice coffee and relaxing. I am not seasoned enough at international travel to not feel somewhat anxious about immigration, customs, connecting flights and the like. Most of that is over now.

The pace of things appears slower (to me) here. Store managers and the officers at security checkpoint also appear more relaxed. One of the reasons may be that it is Sunday morning, and there are relatively few passengers on domestic flights.  I ended up chatting with a woman from Fiji who works here, and she says that she finds that pace very fast compared to Fiji !

I will reach Christchurch around 10:30 a.m. (Christchurch time). Then I will go to my hotel and come back to the United States Antarctic Program (USAP) center at the airport for Extreme Cold Weather (ECW) clothing issue.


In Christchurch

January 6, 2009

Dec 31

I reached Christchurch today after an 8 hour flight in a C-130. Chris and Kristof got bumped. I still haven’t figured out why they got bumped when a C-130 was flying and not a Hercules. Pictures in some time. The things I noticed when I got out of the plane and walked outside were (in that order)

  1. The breeze.
  2. The warmth.
  3. The birds flying in the sky and bird sounds.
  4. Trees and grass.