Our team, affectionately known as the Wormherders, were scheduled to assemble in Christchurch, New Zealand, on December 31st and leave for Antarctica on January 2nd. Anyone headed to McMurdo Station goes through Christchurch, where we get outfitted with extreme cold weather gear (ECW) at the Clothing Distribution Center (CDC). Even though it is summer in the southern hemisphere, Antarctica is still freezing cold, and we need special gear to protect ourselves from hypothermia.

Extreme Cold Weather (ECW)

Bad weather in the States delayed Diana and Breana, and Ed is still stuck in Little Rock, Arkansas! Today we were scheduled to leave Christchurch on a C-17, a large military cargo plane. We have to wear all of our cold weather gear (long underwear, a layer of polar fleece, snow pants, a down filled parka, gloves and a hat) when we fly, but it is summertime in New Zealand, so we get VERY hot waiting for the plane. As you can see, we travel with a lot of military personnel, as well as a lot of cargo.

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Here are Dorota and Breana all ready to go!


Unfortunately, today we boomeranged twice. A “boomerang” is when the plane takes off but then turns around and comes back, just like a boomerang. Sometimes this is because weather conditions in McMurdo are poor and the plane cannot land, so it has to take everyone back to Christchurch. Today it was due to a mechanical error with the plane. We will spend another night in Christchurch, and hopefully we can take off again tomorrow.

Perhaps Ed will have arrived by then!