10 October, 1999
I leave today for New Zealand. I have finished my classes at North High school and turned them over to Cary Anderson who will be teaching them in my absence. Cary is an experienced, dedicated teacher and I know my students will be in good hands, but I still worry about them. I have my tickets and have packed this weekend. I have gathered much of the equipment I think I will need. I am taking a laptop computer to help me with the writing and lots of storage disks. I am bringing 4 cameras along (3 conventional 35mm cameras and a digital camera. I have enough film to take about 850 pictures. That along with the digital images I hope will be sufficient. I am also taking 100% UV protection sunglasses to protect my eyes from the glare of the snow. Also, because of the thinning of the ozone layer at the South Polar region the UV radiation reaching the surface will be higher. I am also bringing high PDF sunscreen to protect my skin from the UV. It seems weird to be bringing sunscreen to Antarctica.
As far as clothes, I will be provided with most, if not all, of the extreme cold weather (ECW) gear when I arrive at the Clothing Distribution Center in Christchurch, New Zealand. I am allotted 70 pounds of luggage for the flight from Christchurch to McMurdo Station in Antarctica. About 35 pounds of that, I am informed, will be taken by the cold weather gear. So, I have a limit of about 35 pounds of clothes and other stuff to take out on the ice. I also have to bring clothes for New Zealand as I will be there for several days before my flight to McMurdo and for several days on my return. I have been told the weather will be a bit cool in New Zealand on the way in, but very warm and pleasant on the way back. I just checked the weather reports from Christchurch and the temperature is currently 48oF (9oC) and raining. They are experiencing spring-like weather there. The temperature at McMurdo is presently 3oF (-16oC) so I will need quite a range of clothing and outerwear. I will be leaving a bag in Christchurch with anything I canít take to McMurdo.
I have said goodbye to my friends and family in Appleton. I will miss them and will look forward to seeing them in December. I will continue to keep in touch with them via e-mail. When I left North High School, my colleagues there had a send off party for me. They decorated the staff room with a tent and lotsí of cold weather gear. Many of the teachers wore winter hats and clothing. My desk was made to look like a glacier with mounds of toilet paper. Below are some pictures of the festivities.
My next journal entry should be from Christchurch. I will be able to tell you about the trip across the Pacific Ocean and the International dateline. The time difference between Appleton and New Zealand is 18 hours. When it is 7:00AM Sunday Central Daylight Time it is 1:00AM Monday New Zealand Daylight Time. For an excellent website to determine time anywhere in the world, check out http://www.bsdi.com/date?. Talk to you later from the land of the Kiwis!
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