Went out to collect my Extreme Cold Weather Gear from the stores today. There were a few dozen other folks there, maybe a dozen or so other first-timers. I milled around, being slightly nervous and taking photos of things.
They gave us a Briefing and had us watch an Instructional DVD, which mostly just went over what to pack in which bags. Your parka, windpants and boots go in your carry-on, and you put them on before the flight, just in case. Then you’ve got your checked bags, like with any airline, including a “Boomerang Bag.” You pack your toiletries and spare clothes in the Boomerang Bag, and if the flight gets delayed, or has to turn back halfway to the Ice, they give it back so you have something to get you through the 24 hours until the next try.
After the briefing we got to test the fit of everything we’d been issued. Here I am kitted out with full-on ECW (Extreme Cold Weather) gear:
And minus the parka:
The flight is at 0700 tomorrow, because it takes five hours to get to McMurdo (it’s a faster plane than they usually use) and they want to get there during the brief hour or two of daylight available this time of year. This means we have to check in at 0400 and, consequently, leave the hotel at 0315.
So I had best get started sorting my things into Carryon, Boomerang and Checked. With any luck I’ll have time tomorrow on the plane to compose a post about the Little Blue Penguins and artificial Antarctic windstorms at the International Antarctic Centre museum.