Leaving on a jet plane!
Before boarding our C-17 National Guard plane to McMurdo today, not only our luggage needed to be weighed but WE had to step on the scale with all of our gear and carry on! Here is Kate standing on the scale with her gear. I had every pocket of Big Red stuffed full of heavy things so that my carry on bag would meet its size requirements. All of my computers, cameras, and tech gear was with me so I weighed in at 210lbs! I'm sure it was all due to the huge boots. :)
The check in process was very similar to boarding a regular flight anywhere in the world. Our passports and tickets were checked, we were issued a boarding pass (a plastic card hung around our neck on a chain), our luggage was weighed and taken, we waited in a waiting room, then went through a security station (no liquids or food allowed) with bags being x-rayed and anyone who set off the arch being wanded. The big difference was that everyone was using orange Clothing Distribution Center bags for carryon, lugging big red parkas and wearing the other required cold weather gear like bunny boots and bib overalls. After we passed through the security check point we could grab our choice of boxed snacks, fruit and water before boarding a bus that took us to our plane. The C-17s that move cargo and people between Christchurch and Antarctica are operated by a National Guard unit out of Washington state. Next stop, McMurdo Station!
Postcards from the Field: ANDRILL