12 November, 1996

November 12th, 1996

CDC:Finding a Perfect Fit

This morning was beautiful in Christchurch. We had nothing to do until after lunch, so we just walked around town, taking in more of the sights. At 2:00 we reported to the CDC (Clothing Distrubution Center) which is located near the airport. After watching a short video about safty in Antarctica we went into the changing rooms (men in one, women in the other) where two duffle bags had been packed with our ECW (extreme cold weather gear). Then came the task of trying everything on.

We received 2 pairs long underware (expedition and regular weight), 6 pairs of tube socks, pile pants and jacket, wind pants (like snow pants), a heavy parka (and I do mean heavy) and a lighter windbreaker style parka. We also recieved around ten pairs of gloves, a balaclava (ski mask), a stocking cap, a pile lined wind shell outer cap, a neck gator, a water bottle, and bunny boots. The bunny boots are huge white plastic boots that have an air insulation layer. We had to try on all the clothes to make sure they fit well, yet were not constricting. Clothes that are too loose don't trap air and therefore don't provide insulation. Clothes that fit too tightly constrict blood flow and leave you susceptible to frostbite.

After making sure all our clothes fit, we packed our bags. I had three. One I will be leaving here in Christchuch. It has all my summer clothes in it. A second is "hold baggage". That has all of my winter gear that I'm not wearing on the plane, plus a few odds and ends. This will be packed on the plane. I also have a "hand carry" bag which I will carry on the plane (unless space is tight in which case it will be taken from me). All the things I actually need in flight I will put in my parka. After going to the CDC we dropped by the Antarctica Center display set up for the public. Although the exhibits were closed, the gift shop had some cute items. We then turned in for the night.

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