Arrival in Antarctica

Dave Hess

Hi everyone,

I have finally arrived in Antarctica. I was in transit to Christchurch, New Zealand from about 26 hours. That is flying time, and waiting in airports. I stayed in Christchurch for 3 nights waiting to leave for the ice. The plane was delayed once, probably due to weather. I enjoyed New Zealand, it is very beautiful in the spring. I spent one morning walking through the Botanical Gardens. In Christchurch, they issued cold weather gear to me, for the trip to the ice.

We boarded a New Zealand military plane called a Hercules and rode for over 7 hours to Antarctica. We were sitting sideways in sling net seats for the takeoff and landing. We were allowed to move around while flying, but there were big crates in the plane with us. The Hercules plane is a cargo plane, and we were just part of the cargo. We landed on sea ice, which was very smooth, probably the softest landing I saw the entire trip.

The weather is warm for this time of year, probably a few degrees below freezing. The air is very clear here, and the mountains across the ice are 40- 60 miles away, but it only looks to be a few miles. Mount Erebus is visible from the station where our equipment is located. It is an active volcano, and if the wind is right, you can see a plume of smoke rising from the top.

I will write more later, but I must get to bed. It is midnight, and the sun is still high in the sky.

David Hess NK3T

Presently living in McMurdo, Antarctica
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