In what should really be less of a surprise, my flight to McMurdo from Christchurch was not delayed (well technically we were delayed a few hours for weather (I don’t know that there has been a completely on time flight all season)). I arrived in McMurdo just in time for Thanksgiving which was observed on Saturday (though Black Friday was still on Friday (yes, there are Black Friday sales, even in Antarctica)). While I had spent two Thanksgivings at Pole, I had never experienced the affair at McMurdo. The large population requires that everyone sign up for one of multiple seatings and a huge line forms waiting to get in to the galley before each one. The food, decorations, and company were all wonderful!
In total I ended up spending four days in McMurdo (significantly less than the three weeks I spent there last time I deployed). I primarily occupied myself with various craft projects I had been working on as well as catching up on some work. And then, in what was an even greater surprise than my flight to McMurdo, my flight to Pole wasn’t delayed either (well technically there was a mechanical delay for a few hours but I’ll take what I can get)!
I had forgotten how exhausting adjusting to altitude is. Not to mention the fire hose of information I needed to absorb for my new role. So far my time here has been a blur. My days are filled with learning how to maintain the telescope I will be responsible for as well as help out the rest of my team on the other telescope they run.
And while I am very tired and busy, I am so happy to be here. Being back feels so good and while it is overwhelming, I am excited for the busy summer season and can’t wait until the winter!