Arrival on the ice!

After months of planning and packing we were finally ready to leave for Antarctica! The amount of luggage necessary for a field season is incredible, but we were able to get everything squeezed onto the plane and down here in one piece. The first stop once we arrived in Christchurch New Zealand was the Clothing Distribution Center to get our Extreme Cold Weather gear. Once we were geared up and the weather cleared, it was time to head south!

For our trip to McMurdo Station we would be flying down on a U.S. Air Force C-17 loaded with both people and cargo. This meant tight seating with pallets of cargo for a view. Still, we were excited to finally be on our way to the ice!

Since it is just reaching the end of winter down here, it was almost completely dark by the time we landed on the ice runway. One of the most unique aspects of the snow on the ground here is how dry it is, and as soon as you step off the plane you can hear the difference. It sounds like walking on styrofoam! Ivan the Terrabus was waiting to pick us up and after driving back into town and a short in-briefing, we were all ready settle in for the night. We didn’t actually get our first view of the sound until the next day, but it was well worth the wait. We had made it to McMurdo!

Tomorrow we will start setting up camp and looking for seals!

Week 2: Setting up camp

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