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Published: January 25th 2005
I Wanted First Class!
The tight quarters on the flight from Christchurch to Antarctica.
January 25th - The plane ride was very interesting. We were each given a large bagged lunch that could feed a small army and loaded on the plane men first and women second. The reasoning behind this is the bathroom the men use, which is a round curtain surrounding a large barrel with a funnel, is at the back of the plane near the cargo and the women get to use the crew bathroom up front. There are two isles with facing seats made of webbing nets and canvas over a very uncomfortable aluminum frame. We were seated facing each other with our knees interlocked like a zipper making it difficult to move to the front or back of the plane (actually difficult to move period). The plane took off on time and before we left the runway we had most of the ECW gear, we were required to wear, balled up and stashed behind the seats and we were still warm. As the flight droned on the cabin temperature got warmer, topping out at a sweltering 90 degrees according to the thermometer the guy next to me had. Finally, five and a half hours later, we began our decent and
The Jet Way
The plane landed on the Ross Ice Shelf, so this Ice isn't touching ground below us.
touched down on the Pegasus ice runway, which is named for a wrecked Constellation airplane named Pegasus that crashed many years ago and is now buried in the ice. Everyone was eager to get off of the flying sauna and it took about ten minutes before the line started moving, but the doors were open and the cold air was flowing in from heaven. I stepped off of the plane onto the Ross Ice Shelf and walked over to the Delta, which is a large personnel carrier on monster truck tires, the temperature was around 28 degrees Fahrenheit and the clouds were obstructing most of the surrounding scenery - We headed to McMurdo Station an hour drive away.
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