Welcome to Nemablog 2014/15! This season we all got to have Christmas at home with our families before beginning the long journey south. After a relatively uneventful 30-hour journey from the US we finally arrived, tired and bewildered in Christchurch, New Zealand. Of course it would not be an Antarctic field season without some drama, so we were not surprised to find that the airline had lost three of our bags on the way to New Zealand. We only stayed in Christchurch for a couple of days so we were faced with the prospect of leaving for Antarctica without them. After a much needed sleep, we went to the Antarctic clothing distribution center, where we were issued our extreme weather clothes and got to watch several short videos, designed to prepare us for our time on the ice. 

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The clothing distribution center in Christchurch. Photo: Ruth Heindel.

After that there was some time to soak up some lovely New Zealand weather and New Years’ Eve celebrations before the flight to the ice the following day. Next morning we were ready to board the C-130 aircraft operated by the US military. Thankfully all of the missing bags had been located and could join us. Now it was time to leave the fair shores of New Zealand for a month in a less hospitable climate. The 8 hour flight to the ice went off without a hitch, with us landing near McMurdo Station on the ice runway – into gorgeous sunny, clear and warm (about 30F), meaning that this season would begin as planned!

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First view of Antarctica from window of C130 aircraft. Photo: Ruth Heindel.

Right now we are settling into McMurdo Station and preparing the lab for the season ahead. Everyone is very excited about the science we have been planning for the last few months and will enjoy adding updates to this blog as the work progresses. Watch the weather and McMurdo at the webcam http://www.wunderground.com/webcams/webcamstraveldot/21087/show.html

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The Wormherders have landed – Jan 1 2015. Photo: Ruth Heindel.

Written by: Matt Knox

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