10 February, 1999

Wednesday, February 10, 1999

Hello from Christchurch! Well, tomorrow is our big day. We are all looking forward to flying down to Antarctica and beginning our research. Today is basically a free day for us. Most people went by van to a town named Akaroa. This is a small, historic town located about an hour and a half from Christchurch. I stayed in Christchurch to work on posting my journals and digital pictures. In addition, I knew that I wanted to unload the pictures from my digital camera before we took off tomorrow . . . and I needed to work at the National Science Foundation offices to do that because I don't have an electrical converter to plug in my laptop computer. Once we are in Antarctica I won't have to worry about things like that. Our ship uses the same type of plugs that we use in the United States.

This morning, we heard some good news about tomorrow's flight. As of now, we are still scheduled to report at 5:30 a.m.. On top of that, we are going to be flying a C-141. This is not the same plane that we flew last year. In fact, the best part about it is that our flight will only take 5 hours in this plane . . . rather than the 9 hours that it took last year! We are able to take this plane because we are traveling later in the year. This faster plane requires thicker ice for landing, and the ice isn't thick enough in January.

There probably won't be another journal entry for a day or so. It will all depend on how things go once we land in Antarctica. According to our most recent plan, we are supposed to go directly from McMurdo Station to our ship. I'm sure we will be very busy loading our equipment on the ship and then unpacking it for our six weeks at sea. Before I finish up for today, however, I want to look at yesterday's question. It was: "What do you think is the main cause of ablation in Antarctica?" Most of the ablation in Antarctica is caused by calving of the glaciers. Calving is when a piece of the glacier breaks off and drops into the ocean. Once it's in the ocean, what do we call this piece of floating glacier?

I'm getting really excited about flying out tomorrow. I can't wait until I can have a chance to tell you all about it!

Kim Giesting

P.J. and Ashley are getting out all of their clothes at the CDC (Clothing Distribution Center).

I'm trying on some of my clothes at the CDC.

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