Welcome to the end. We spent a couple of days doing essentially nothing other than packing and cleaning up the lab. I’m starting to get a little antsy being on station with essentially nothing to do. It suddenly becomes very apparent that you currently exist in a place that you really shouldn’t exist in. People are on Antarctica because of science. Being down here without doing science and being down here without the purpose of helping to facilitate science suddenly makes you feel rather silly for continuing to be down here at all. Originally, I was scheduled to fly out of Antarctica on the 18th. But, if there is one thing that becomes blatantly clear rather quickly down here, it’s that the weather is unpredictable, and so are the flights.
First, our flight switched from leaving on the 18th to hearing that the plane was actually leaving Christchurch on the night of the 18th, which meant we wouldn’t fly out on that plane until the morning (or middle of the night) on the 19th. The 19th is today. Since that development, there’s been a 24 weather delay, I’ve been scheduled to fly out on an air bus with a 4:00 am transport time, switched to fly out on a Herc (also known as a Hercules or LC-130) with a 7:00 am transport time, and then bumped from that flight to be placed on the manifest for the airbus with a 4:00 am transport on the 20th. Welcome to travel in Antarctica. Oh, something else to consider. There is an air bus flight scheduled for tomorrow (the 20th), one more flight scheduled for the day after that (the 21st), and then there will be no more flights off the continent until after Christmas, on the 27th. Happy Holidays.
Markus left 9 days ago (and yet it feels like it’s been so much longer), Rachel got out yesterday, and Jo and Allyson left on the Herc today (or at least I think they successfully left), and John and I have been rescheduled to leave tomorrow. Thus, I continue to wait, in transition. Not quite fully on the continent, and most definitely not quite back home, I wait.
**Oh, and a quick shameless plug – Happy Birthday to my beautiful big sister! Thanks for all the love and support, I’m sorry I’m not home to wish you a happy birthday or a Merry Christmas in person.
Love, your baby sister,