Sunday, December 21, 2008


Stayed up again all night. Sort of realized there's not much left here to catch up on prior to my getting to the Pole. Oh and pictures are not working like they are supposed to again, and I am too tired to fiddle with the stuff. A good portion of my photos are up on flickr so feel free to peruse there for images i may add the images later, who knows, anway. After Christchurch I made it into McMurdo. Interesting little tidbit about my stay there, i only stayed maybe 22 hours at McMurdo while others were waiting weeks there to go to the pole. I lucked out. I also lucked out in that i was supposed to be at "man camp" but i managed to get out of that as well. Man camp is what everyone calls one of the living areas that is basically a barracks, there are 24ish beds in each room, very little room anywhere. By the time i got all of my crap lugged over to man camp there were no more open beds, or so it seemed. Every bed either had someone in it or had clothes around it or had peoples bags on them, I went ahead and assumed that they were all taken and went and spoke with housing and got moved inside the main building 155? maybe. Not sure of the number, it's where everyone goes to eat. This was far nicer, there were only 4 other folks in that room. The folks in that room were pretty cool too. I left to do some exploring with my camera and try and find the bars i heard about. I found the coffee shop wine bar thing where i had a delicious mocha with bailys, oh so good. I decided to head back to the room and unpack not too long after that i was pretty tired.

By the time I got everything unpacked and settled in, one of my new roommates told me I was supposed to be at bag drag. I had no idea what he was talking about. I some how got put on the list of folks flying out the next day so I had to hustle my butt off and get all my bags ready and hauled up to the cargoish area. By then i was pretty damn tired, all I wanted to do was get to my room and go to sleep. When i eventually got back to sleep I was awoken by the sound of someone vomiting. One of the roommates was a bit too excited about also leavin in the morning and as such drank way too much wine. He threw up large amounts of purple stuff all over himself and then bed. Wonderful... After he got himself cleaned up and his sheets changed, i finally started back to sleep after the other roommates and i contemplated contacting someone as we were worried about the guy. We ultimately decided to let him sleep as he would of probably been denied his plane ride. I was then awoken again by the sound of him vomiting...he did this 3 or so times, i got no sleep, it sucked a lot.

The night eventually ended and I was off to the plane that would send me to Le Pole.

I still really wasn't all that excited, McMurdo really didn't seem like Antartica. It felt like an old mining town in the rockies. Yes it was pretty white all around, but it just didn't seem isolated in anyway, I just wasn't impressed. But then, oh then i finally landed at the Pole...While sitting in the plane it was only mildly cold and i thought to myself, pshh this isn't so bad, I've been far colder than this. Then I walked outside...

I had never been so cold in my life. It was super windy naturally and the planes engines were not helping in that matter either. It was a very long cold walk from the plne to the station, I hurried as fast as I could go. The 22ish hours i spent in McMurdo with almost all of them inside did not prepare me for the cold I felt then. I was still basically used to the 75ish degree weather of Christchurch. So I went from beautiful wonderful climate to a freezing blistering cold -45 degrees F, with roaring winds with windchill of -75 degrees F. That is freaking cold!!!

Sort of funny side not to this, prior to arriving to the Pole I really wanted to live in the Jamesways, I really felt like it would be the best way to experience the pole since I would be inside for most of my job. After I made it in from the cold I was hoping and wishing that I would get a room in the station and would never have to go outside again. I could not stand the thought of walking everyday back and forth to my room. Man was I disappointed when I got my room number, J12-2. I could not find it on the station map anywhere, then the little wheels started spinning again in the ol head and I realized I was to be outside... Not only did I have this terrible realization I was also experience some elevation sickness. I was getting really hot and dizzy and felt like vomiting all while having trouble breathing. It was a great first day :}


jeanne said...

OK It's official! Your coming home. Amazing the things I learn not from you directly, but in a round about way. And you wonder why I worry!!

Kristina said...

I felt the exact same ways: on the plane I didn't think it would be so bad but then I was the coldest I ever was in my life once I deplaned; the walk from the plane to the Station was the longest walk of my life; I thought I wanted to be in Summer Camp so I could say I really "roughed it" at the Pole but regretted ever thinking that when I got into the Station; and I never wanted to walk outside again, especially when I thought I was going to pass out and still had to walk a quarter of a mile with my heavy bag.