Friday, August 29, 2008

Ready, Set, ...

The green duffel bag is packed with 48 lbs. of clothing and gear. The backpack is loaded with computer, camera, iPod, chargers, cables and Passport. I've double checked the packing list.

One doesn't get too upset if something is forgotten when traveling domestically. Usually it can be replaced at the destination. That does not work for this trip. If it is needed and it was not packed, too bad.

Next stop: Denver, Colorado for two days of training. During that time, the IT department will check my computer for viruses and be sure that I have a functioning anti-viral software installed. I'll update this site with more details as they are known, but as of now my anticipated itinerary is as follows:
  • 02 Sep – Lynchburg to Denver
  • 03 Sep – Training
  • 04 Sep – Training in the morning. Depart for airport in afternoon.
  • 04 Sep – Denver to LA to Auckland to Christchurch. Arrive in the evening of the same day!
  • 05 Sep – Report to the CDC to be issued ECW gear
  • 06 Sep – Possibly leave for McMurdo Station
According to other writers and official sources, the flight from Christchurch to Antarctica is weather-dependent. If the weather cooperates, we will report to the Antarctica Terminal on a specified date and time. Our bags will be loaded, not to be returned to us until we arrive in Antarctica. We are to wear much of our ECW gear aboard the plane. We will be allowed a small carry on bag. In this bag should be a change of clothes....more on that in a moment.

When the plane is in-flight, the weather at McMurdo will be evaluated. If it remains favorable then we continue on. If by the point-of-no-return the weather has become unfavorable, then the plane "boomerangs" and returns to Christchurch and we deplane with just the small carry on bag mentioned above. We will stay in Christchurch until the weather permits another flight. That's why we need the change of clothes. The process repeats itself until we arrive at McMurdo.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

My Going Away Cake

Cheri Bing at Forest Women's Center baked a cake and decorated it with glacial white icing, an igloo, and penguins in honor of my upcoming deployment. Thanks, Cheri!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Deployment Date Moved Up

My original contract had a deployment date of approximately 04 October. I was ready to take off the month of September, get the supplies I need, finalize financial and family details, and wing out of Lynchburg for training toward the end of September. Well, as you can already tell from the title of this post, that plan was changed.

In an email from my medical director, he mentioned getting together with me for dinner when I'm training in Denver on 02 September. That was the first time I had heard that date, but it wasn't to be the last.

After some phone calls, it became apparent last Thursday that 02 September is the day I depart Lynchburg. After a couple of days in Denver, I depart Denver for Christchurch, New Zealand on 05 September. There I will be outfitted with Extreme Cold Weather (ECW) Gear at the Clothing Distribution Center (CDC).

As you might imagine, this kicks me into high gear. My posts between now and deployment may be sparse. I'm out buying polypropylene long underwear and other required items.

Thanks to everyone who wrote with their words of encouragement and support. I hope you follow along with the blog and take a moment of your precious time to leave comments when the mood strikes you.