Preparing for Deployment

After 34 hours of plane rides, we arrived in Christchurch, New Zealand on November 21st. Our longest flight was from Dallas (where Gordon and I met up with Maggie) to Sydney, Australia, and clocked in at 17 hours. Because we flew west over the International Date Line, Gordon, Maggie, and I never experienced November 20th, 2016. We hope we didn’t miss anything special…


The massive plane that took us from Sydney, Australia to Christchurch, New Zealand. We rode in the same model from Dallas to Sydney.

At the United States Antarctic Program (USAP) office in Christchurch, we met up with Greg Balco (another scientist) and Chris Simmons (our mountaineering guide), rounding out our team. We watched videos about preserving the Antarctic, life at McMurdo Station, and the Extreme Cold Weather (ECW) clothing we were about to receive.

Following this brief training, we proceeded to the Clothing Distribution Center where we received our ECW. The clothing included fleece pants, a fleece top, two warm red jackets—Big Red and Little Red, hats, gloves, mittens, and neck warmers. Surely enough to keep us warm in the Antarctic for the next month!

We spent the rest of the day exploring Christchurch and repacking our large duffels for deployment the next morning. Oh, and we felt a minor earthquake in the afternoon. Exciting for Gordon and me, as we had never experienced an earthquake before!

Soon to come: our journey to the ice, and our first few days at McMurdo. Stay tuned!

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