|How fitting, eh? I'm on that plane somewhere...! Photo courtesy Katie, my girlfriend.|
During our time in Christchurch, we had time to explore the area, and with our hotel close to downtown, Thierry and I took a walk around...which is completely shut off due to the earthquake back in February. The damage is frighteningly extensive, and it appears it will be a long time before it is opened again. I believe about 200 people were killed in this earthquake, and my heart goes out to all those impacted. I cannot imagine what they have gone through.
|The crew...taking pictures of mallards. From left to right: Thierry (PhD student), Michael, Darren, Jessica, Colleen.|
|Typical ice flight shot|
Enclosed in the belly of the C17, you basically see nothing of the world as it passes by (there are tiny little windows to peer out of, but usually its of clouds or nothing but ice). "Flight attendants" are comprised of members of the Air Force (from Seattle, I believe)...they make this flight many time over. After 6 hours of the loud hum of the plane and the droning rumble of the jets, you are quite suddenly landing on the ice! Tires on ice, touch down is smooth as silk.
|Bright blue cold day|
|the cold against the face, the crunch of the boots, the HUGE expansiveness of ICE! Sooo happy to be back!|
|the infamous Ivan the Terra Bus|
And so the adventure begins! It will still be some time before we even see the seals due to training and research logistics in McMurdo, but it will be soon!!