Friday, October 12, 2007

Who Won't Turn Off the Lights?

It is 10:35pm and it is as bright outside as late afternoon on a Denver winter day. Because we are below the Antarctic circle, the sun won't actually set for the next 4 months. However, we are still supposed to have some spectacular sunsets around 2:30am in the morning for the next month as the sun approaches the horizon. I'm hoping to stay up late tomorrow night to make that happen, but as everyone knows what is WAY past my bedtime, so we'll see.

However, a good reason to catch the sunrise might be to avoid my room. It is a little bigger than my college double dorm room. Instead of two beds, we have four beds in there and no windows. Not having a window might be a blessing since the sun won't set though. On the other hand, the dorm is kept kind of hot and having a window could cool it down. My two roommates are firefighters on base. One is working a 24-hour shift so I'll meet him tomorrow.

The rainy Christchurch weather broke just before sundown on my last evening there. I'll remember it a lot more fondly now that I finally got to see it drying out. The free public botanical gardens have to be some of the best in the world. I don't know when they were started but it had to a long time ago because some of those trees are huge.

Another picture from the Botanical Gardens.

I'll try to get pictures up in the next few days. I just haven't had time yet because I've been exhausted. The final leg of my journey entailed getting up at 4am, checking in at 6am, and then a 6 hour flight in a C-17. The last hour of the flight was amazing as we got to see Antarctica from above. After that, we had another briefing and then I unpacked and took a nap. I was and still am beat. Since then, I've explored Gallagher's bar, the Coffee House Bar, the cardio gym, the weight gym, and just generally tried to get acquainted with my new surroundings. At the peak of the day, it was 0 degrees F. I'm not sure what the temperature is now, but I'm still wearing my Keens for anyone who said I wouldn't wear them down here :-)

I'm tired and have vehicle training at 7:30am tomorrow so I'm off to bed. Good night.

Everyone had to put on their Extreme Cold Weather (ECW) gear before we flew the last leg.

The fully loaded C-17. In the back left is our gear.

Antarctic mountains taken from the C-17.

More photos taken from the plane.

Another photo taken from the plane.

Getting off our C-17 at McMurdo.

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