Thursday, September 08, 2005
posted 9/08/2005 04:19:00 PM UTC+12, McMurdo Local Time

Getting closer!

Today there was an email waiting for me from Janie in the deployment specialist group (DSG) this morning with a link to my travel itinerary. Looks like I'll be leaving Denver September 29th and arriving in Christchurch, New Zealand, on October 1st. The flight involves three days for a few reasons; firstly because we'll be in the air for a long time, then there is also a long layover in Los Angeles and Aukland, and finally because we'll be heading west over the international date line. Interestingly, the itinerary also included my return flight information. Hopefully, I'll be able to change it as it has me going straight from Antarctica to the states, but as my regular reader will know, I want to spend some quality time in New Zealand before heading home!

Molly has been making some good progress with getting a job on the ice over the last couple of days. She's hopefully going to be interviewing for a position as an alternate vehicle operator Thursday. When you get a job offer to work for RPSC on the ice, you can either be a "primary" or an "alternate." Basically, for each position on the ice, RPSC puts two people through the paces to work down there, but only one can go. Ideally the primary candidate gets things done and heads down to the ice, but sometimes the primary candidate doesn't PQ, has other obligations, or just doesn't show up at the airport. When the primary candidate can't make it, the alternate is ready and hopefully willing to take the primary person's place and goes down to the ice. So, Molly is hopefully going to get a position as an alternate and get rolling on the PQ process. Once she gets PQed, it sounds like she'll have a pretty decent chance of getting down there since RPSC is apparently hiring several alternates, and this late in the game that says to me that they're going to need some help. We'll see how it goes in a few weeks, will keep this thing updated with any developments!

Also, I was chatting with my highschool friend Catherine today and found out that her brother's friend, John, will be going to work on the ice as well! He's in the fuels department too, but will be working at the South Pole so we're probably not going to be seeing too much of each other once he goes from McMurdo to pole. John has a cool journal over at

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