November 26th, 2013
Hi all, over the next couple of months I will be posting regular blogs to keep you up to date with my adventures on the ice. I am hoping to head down south today in a Ski Herc, this is the same as a regular Hercules aircraft but with ski’s equipped on the landing gear so that it can land on softer snow. We are planning on landing on the sea ice in front of McMurdo Station (the American station) and from there I will go to Scott base, my home for the next wee while.
I got completely kitted out at the Antarctica NZ warehouse yesterday and it was like Christmas came early. A selection of the gear included 9 pairs of gloves, 5 different jackets, 4 woolen socks, 3 pairs of trousers, 2 pairs of boots and a warm fleecy hat. Could be a Christmas carol! That’s not even including the polyprops, socks, googles and more which we were given. I hope I can keep track of everything!
It wasn’t until I was being kitted up that the reality of going to Antarctica started to sink in. I am now unbelievably excited and the plane ride can’t come quickly enough even if it is at least 8 hours as I have been told! However delays are not uncommon and the flight that was meant to leave on Friday didn’t get away till Tuesday morning so fingers crossed.
At Scott base I will be working with the engineering team on a variety of projects looking at how all aspects of the base are monitored and maintained. I will keep you up to date with the various projects as I am working on them. I can only imagine the sort’s of challenges that face the engineers in such an extreme environment so should be pretty interesting.
I’m about to head to the airport now so bring on the ice!
BLAKE Antarctic Ambassador 2013