We finally got to fly down on August 28 after 11 days of being delayed! We almost got to fly on Saturday the 27th, all got dressed up in our warm clothes ready to head to the airport, and got a call from the hotel telling us to postpone things another day.

Boarding the C17 in Christchurch

After the hectic check-in at the airport and last-minute gear try-ons, we made it onto the C17 to start the 5hr flight down south. We had a full flight, the place was loaded half with people and half with cargo, I had a Challenger Tractor track on a pallet in front of me, and Arunima was sitting near probably a literal ton of fresh fruit!

View from my seat

We landed around 7:45pm on the ice, which was the first time any of us got to see Antarctica in the dark, even Dr. Chu, who has come down 15 times. We got our orientation done by 10pm, but since we got in so late, we had to wait until the next day to get our luggage. This meant we couldn’t brush our teeth, change out of our base layers, or anything! Luckily we grabbed all that first thing in the morning and got settled in.

Our last view of the plane before the bus took us into town

10 comments on “Arrived at McMurdo!

    • Yes partially, the plane that landed before us did a night landing and damaged the ice runway a little bit. Normally that’s not too big of a problem, my understanding is that the main engineer architect was on the next plane down, so it took a lot longer to fix. That, combined with the fact that it was windchill -70F during that repair is what made the delay take so long! Even when they had fixed it, it was still below the safe-point for jet fuel, so they had to wait for a “warm” enough day. Even when we landed, they didn’t even shut off the C17 before refueling and taking back off because they worried about getting it restarted

  • Hi Jax, Mike just shared your posts about what you’ve been up to. CONGRATS on being chosen for what sounds like an amazing research project, even tho’ I really don’t understand it😉

  • Hi Jax, CONGRATS on being chosen for what sounds like an awesome research project. I always new you’d go far but didn’t expect it to be all the way to Antarctica!

  • We’ll be following your work Jackson – too bad you didn’t get to enjoy Christchurch more. We got to have dinner with your parents tonight!

  • Great article! It’s so interesting to learn about the research being done in Antarctica. I’m looking forward to hearing more about the team’s progress.

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