After rushing around for three weeks to get everything ready to leave for Antarctica again, here I am... close but not there yet. I am in Christchurch, NZ waiting for my flight to the ice tomorrow. It was originally scheduled for today, Monday the 27th (NZ dates) but because of bad weather the flights have been backing up. One flight has made it, but Flight 2 has been backed up so they took our spot today. I am on Flight 3. If Flight 2 makes it today and the weather holds up in McMurdo I will be leaving tomorrow.
Things are "same, same but different" now that Lockheed Martin has taken over the program. No Denver training so everyone leaves for Christchurch from their home airport and there is half a day of training here in CHC, and half a day of getting fitted out at the Clothing Distribution Center. There will be more training in McMurdo in special areas such as safety.
There appear to be quite a few first-timers this season, at least in WinFly. A show of hands revelaed about 1/3 first timers in our flight, and about half who have never participated in WinFly (including me). It is very odd to be the experienced hand with the new people and they ask all kinds of questions, many of which I had during my first deployment.
I suspect my next post will be from Antarctica unless the weather gets much worse and I have more days in Christchurch.