Archive for the ‘New Zealand’ Category

leaving the country

Monday, October 30th, 2006

we are scheduled to fly tomorrow morning (checking in at 6:30am) so hopefully tomorrow afternoon I’ll be in Antarctica. As great as it is here in NZ, I am ready to go.

In the meantime, photos from today (I’m experimenting with Picasa instead of the usual lostman gallery in this post). Click the photo to be taken there…
go to gallery

Centers for Disease Control

Monday, October 30th, 2006

Today we got to try on all out Extreme Cold Weather (ECW) gear at the Clothing Distribution Center (CDC). I got to try on about 30 different pieces of clothing from socks to a fleece body suit to Big Red (the parka) to 8 different pairs of gloves. Half of the stuff inevitably doesn’t fit so you take it to a counter to get a new size from a warehouse filled with thousands of pieces of clothing of every conceivable size and shape (but not many different colors). The process was worlds easier than last year since I knew how each piece ought to fit. When I put on certain items I got all nostalgic, and when I had Big Red all cinched up I got really excited for the first time.

You never know what you are going to get with each piece of clothing – some items are brand new and some are ratty old things with broken zippers. I got a lot of really good items this year in the first round so I am happy. I think all of my gloves fit very well this year, whereas last year I was constantly struggling in the field to find the right gloves. I will definitely miss my neck gaiter (good ol’ greenie – I really should have kept that guy at the end of the season) and my liner gloves. The liner glove is very basic but the ones last year were a little nicer – more stretchy. Of course you never know which piece of clothing is going to come through and be your favorite later in the year.

I made sure to get extra long johns so I can change them out every few days and a bunch of extra socks. I also got the ‘field pants’ for casual wear around camp. Other than that, I don’t really need anything beyond the standard issue stuff. And this year I have a lot of great gear from home.

Our work at the CDC is done so it’s time to head back to town to get my last lamb kebab for 6 weeks. Cross your fingers that we actually fly tomorrow!

Port Hills rambling

Sunday, October 29th, 2006

Today Hassan and I took the bus out to the south edge of town and hiked around the Port Hills. They are the edge of the Banks Peninsula and are part of a group of old volcanoes. There is a lot of interesting history as well, as the early pioneers had to cross the hills from Lyttleton Harbour to get to the farming land around Christchurch. Christchurch City Council has some good info.

It was a beautiful day and we appreciated the sun and green before we head to the ice. The day ended at Lyttleton Harbour where we happened to see the USAP Nathaniel Palmer research vessel coming into port. I have plenty of pictures on, and Hassan has a few on his Picasa site.

Lyttleton Harbour Castle Rock