Sunday, January 13, 2008


Liquid Helium Conduit on C-17

Hotel California, McMurdo Station, Antarctica
This is going to be short, cause I'm for a shower and bed soon. Just got back from Bag Drag, which is more or less what it sounds like -- you have to carry all your luggage from your room to the "Movement Control Center" (MCC) where they weigh you with all your stuff for the flight. The new wrinkle this year is that the same TSA restrictions r.e. liquid, gels etc. that you get in the real world applies here, which meant I had to pour some shampoo in a plastic bag for tonight, and then check the rest of the bottle (which Sandy from the Devon gave me, and I'm still using since my other bag STILL HASN'T SHOWN UP... apparently it is due at Pole on or around Wednesday our time).

The other piece of bad news is that my good camera is out of battery juice, so no nice pictures of the Beardmore Glacier or other beautiful Antarctic terrain for y'all, at least going south. The good news though is that I spent a lot of that juice clicking pictures of a lone Adelie penguin who made its way past Hut Point this morning. It was talkative and more active than any penguin I've ever seen up close and personal. Apparently some Polies saw 40 penguins near the same spot a week or so ago. But I still feel lucky, since I haven't seen one for a few years. Sitting out on the black rocks at the edge of Ross Island, staring out at the mountains and listening to the croak of the Adelie waddling past and skidding around on its belly, was probably the highlight of the trip so far. I will post some photos and maybe even a clumsy video or two when I get some more time.

Transport for our South Pole flight is at 0700 tomorrow. With luck I'll be at Pole for lunch. Then I can start to settle in while my body chemistry scrambles to adjust for only 1/2 the usual oxygen....

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