21 May, 2000


After arising in time to leave for the airport at 5:30 AM, we loaded the cargo pallets and went in for a briefing at 7:15 AM. We finally got in the air sometime after 8:00. Passengers are merely cargo on a Hercules, “Herc.” We sat on fabric seats with net-like back supports in rather cozy quarters, but it wasn’t really all that uncomfortable. Bathroom facilities were very primitive and were not used much. The normal course to Greenland is a straight shot from Schenectady, NY to Kangerlussuaq (pronounced Kanger loo sock), Greenland. However, we got a bonus stop! There was a leak in the oxygen system at the monitor in the cockpit so the plane had to turn around and land in Goose Bay, Canada. After an hour, we were on our way again, but it delayed arrival about 3 hours, since the pilots had had to back-track to find a landing place.

As we arrived, the snow swirled around the plane and we all nestled deeper into our coats as we were given a welcome right on the runway. After eating, we were assigned rooms at the science support center, which is built much like a college dormitory - two beds to a room and bathrooms in the center hall. I suspect it is a bit warmer than my tent will be later!

Tomorrow, cold weather gear, then off to explore the area!

Oh yes, it doesn’t look like I’ll be able to send pictures back while I am here, but I should have a journal and be able to answer any email every day. The Internet access is not set up like it is in Antarctica and is very limited. The support staff is giving me a generous word-per-day allowance (1000), but no pictures. I promise to take lots of pictures that will be posted as soon as I get back to Texas.

Warm regards,

Besse Dawson

Preparing to leave New York on the "Herc," bound for Greenland!

> Overlooking Kangerlussuaq, Greenland. <>

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