Arrival!

14 10 2009

We are in Antarctica!

Standing in line for the flight to McMurdo

Standing in line for the flight to McMurdo


We checked in bright and early at 6 am in Christchurch. They then loaded us into a US Air Force C-17 for the flight down. Last year, I flew down along with a helicopter (ironic, no?). This year, it was time for… a bulldozer!
Inside the C-17 Globemaster with the bulldozer "Southern Belle"

Inside the C-17 Globemaster with the bulldozer 'Southern Belle'


The flight went completely without incident. I looked out the window a few times, until finally we caught sight of the Transantarctics, the range that cuts all the way across the continent, and in part of which the Dry Valleys and Lake Bonney are located.
View of the Transantarctic range from our plane.

View of the Transantarctic range from our plane.


We landed out at the Pegasus airfield on the ice shelf about 15 mi from McMurdo station. Yes, the plane actually lands on the ocean (on the 100 m thick ice floating on top of it, that is).
View of the C-17 on the Pegasus airfield on the Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica.

View of the C-17 on the Pegasus airfield on the Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica.


Vickie was there to greet us when we arrived on Ivan the TerraBus in McMurdo itself.
Rachel and Bill getting off the shuttle in McMurdo Station, along with Vickie who came to meet us.

Rachel and Bill getting off the shuttle in McMurdo Station, along with Vickie who came to meet us.

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