Arrived at McMurdo Station, Antarctica
I have arrived safely at McMurdo Station after an amazing flight over the sea ice and Mt. Erebus. Early in the season, the USAP (US Antarctic Program) uses an Australian Airbus for transportation rather than the Military C-17 that is commonly documented in photographs. While I was bummed that I did not get the “classic experience,” I was able to fly in style! I was lucky enough to have a reclining seat next to the window.
We had crystal clear skies and many experienced veterans have never seen the incredible views that we had. As we approached the antarctic continent, we were excited to see sea ice. Little did I know that the views would only get better.
The colors were phenomenal. We then saw Mt. Erebus out my window. This is the southernmost active volcano on earth with an elevation of 12, 448 feet.
Prior to landing, we were instructed to put on our ECW gear. I was nervous about the cold and wind that would greet us as we stepped off the plane. It was the nicest day of the season so far with no wind, bright blue skies and “warm” weather. The max temp on base that day was 5 degrees Fahrenheit. Not too bad when you are wearing goose down and “bunny boots.”
We landed on the ice runway which is a few miles from McMurdo base. We were then transported to another briefing by “Ivan the Terra Bus.” This is one of the large transport vehicles at McMurdo base.
I have settled into my dorm room and spent some time touring the clinic. I will officially start seeing patients on Monday. They are giving me a couple of days to get used to the clinic and the large time change.
Thanks for all of the email, facebook and comment messages!! It keeps me connected.
I will try to put together a tour of town this weekend.