Warm city and cold weather clothing!
After a reasonable night of sleep, we headed this morning for the US Antarctic Program Clothing Distribution Center (USPA CDC). We brought all we have there, to make sure our carry-on would fit in the specific box it has to, to try on our outdoor gear provided by the program and for some induction too!
Trying on all the outdoor gear during the summer in Christchurch was a funny experience. First layer is merino wool thermal underwear, next polar fleece pants and jumper (very excited to wear polar fleece close-ish to the pole!), then waterproof pants and waterproof parka! When you get it all on, you’re sweating like crazy! The polar fleece pants also look hilarious!
We also got our bunny boots, which are very large, very heavy boots specially designed for extreme conditions, it took me three swaps to find a good fitting. At least we had fun laughing at each other while trying our gear on!
Today we also got a better explanation of boomeranging, and boomerang bags. Basically, sometimes the airplane gets to McMurdo, but the conditions are bad for landing and it comes back all the way to Christchurch. That is called boomeranging. The flight can take up to three days to go again. The boomerang bag is the only bag that you will get back from your checked-in luggage in case we have to return to Christchurch, we should pack enough for three days in there!
In our case, we are flying in a smaller airplane that takes longer to get to McMurdo (8h instead of 5h in the larger airplane), that means that if we were to boomerang, we would do it around 4h in to our flight, because our airplane doesn’t have enough fuel to go all the way there and return! That would be an epic/frustrating 16h flight.
I am crossing my fingers that we don’t have to use our boomerang bags!
Another “fun fact” is that I’ve heard on the grape vine that the airplane doesn’t have a proper toilet; there is a bucket and a curtain. I don’t know how accurate this information is, but I am not drinking much water tomorrow!