Hey guys, I’ve finally arrived in Antarctica! The plane ride down here was one of the most uncomfortable I’ve ever been on, but it’s all worth it when I look out the windows at the Trans-Antarctic mountains. The weather here is surprisingly warm. In fact yesterday when I went to the storage depot to pick up my luggage I was wearing nothing more than long underwear, jeans and a sweater. This is a huge change from the weather down here a couple of days ago. The day before I arrived, the winds here were so strong that they blew the tail of one of the LC-130 aircraft 30 feet during a refueling operation!
Winds here make a huge difference in the perceived temperature. When it’s still outside, it’s actually pretty pleasant. In fact, sitting in the galley drinking coffee reminds me of sitting in a ski lodge in the states. The fact that we are wearing huge bunny boots (air insulated rubber boots) just adds to that feeling.
The guys that are working outside all the time tend to dress warmer than I do, so I’ve taken to wearing just long underwear, jeans, a sweatshirt and my parka with a hat. The parkas are pretty cool. The people at McMurdo are issued red parkas which are older, but the people who are going to the south pole are issued these cool green parkas. They are newer, but some say that they aren’t as warm. So far it’s been plenty to keep me happy. We do have to watch out for them, as I’ve been told that anything associated with the pole station is considered a great souvenir.
I started my first full day yesterday by taking a walking tour of the station. It’s not nearly as big as I thought, but it’s easy to get dis-oriented because all the buildings tend to look alike from the outside. Later on I met all the McMurdo IT people, and spent some time hanging out with them. Last night I went to the climbing wall with Katrina, and we got certified to climb there. We finished up at around 10 pm, and when we walked outside the sun was still shining brightly. Sunset is around 10:50, and sun rise is about 4:10 am. The times are changing each day about 10 minutes, so it won’t be much longer before we have 24 hour daylight. Tonight I think I’m going to go to Gallagher’s, the non-smoking bar, and celebrate my 28th birthday today! 🙂

About The Author

Henry has spent three winters living in Antarctica which funded his early explorations and adventures around the world. Now he holds down a full time job in Denver, CO and continues to make travel a priority in his life, both internationally, and on weekend warrior type trips.

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