As it turns out, you can’t just get down to McMurdo and immediately head out into the field to sample. Each science team has to pack and prep their own camps and go through several days of training in order to be cleared to go out into the field. Training includes: Field Safety (e.g. hypothermia prevention and risk management), Environmental Preparation (aka don’t contaminate Antarctica), and Fire Safety (aka don’t burn down your tent).
Here we are learning how not to burn down a tent with a camp stove:
After all that training, we finally got to start packing….weighing and tagging everything that needs to be packed into helicopters to go out into the field:
After getting fully outfitted, Team Sarahs had one last night in the New Zealand spring before heading south, then a 4:30am wakeup call for a 6 am check in at the USAP air terminal.
The flights down to “The Ice” are made by either the Air Force (McChord) on a C-17 or the Air National Guard (Schenectady) on a C-130. Today we got to fly on the C-17, which you would think would be very roomy, but passengers are always squeezed in between the cargo, so its quite an adventure!
After 5 hours on the plane, we arrived!
Getting to Antarctica is both boring and exhausting punctuated with moments of stress and excitement. Sarah Aarons and I boarded our plane from LAX to Christchurch at 10:30 pm. After an extra hour waiting at the gate for a passenger … Continue reading