I am in Christchurch, New Zealand right now. To get here, I took a flight from Salt Lake City to San Francisco. San Francisco to Auckland, New Zealand (12 hour flight). We then flew from Auckland to Christchurch, New Zealand. This trip started on Sunday, December 30th, and I arrived in Christchurch Tuesday, January 1st.
I really don't remember much of New Year's Eve. That is because there was no New Year's Eve for me this year. We took off from San Francisco on the 30th, and landed in New Zealand on New Year's Day. What??? No, we were not in the air for a day and a half. We crossed the international date line. While crossing that vertical line on the Earth, we are to move our calendar ahead one day. I will get that day back when I come home, crossing that line from the other direction.
Click here to view a short animation showing the route here to New Zealand, and soon, to Antarctica.
Brief Summary of Preparation
Preparation time is over. I have spent years learning so many fascinating things about Antarctica. I have been to several conferences and trainings preparing me for my expedition (refer to previous posts on those conferences). I have spent time in the gym and changing my diet in order to be stronger and to add a bit more cold resistive "insulation". I set, and reached a goal to increase from 165 pounds to 180 pounds. That was a fun goal to achieve.
I have spent time in Dr. Adam’s lab having him teach me some techniques we will use in the lab in Antarctica (story in previous journal). I have passed my physical qualification tests (another journal entry about that). Vaccines and extra insurance were also required.
Many video conferences were held with our Antarctic Dry Valley team members, PolarTREC advisors, and from the United States Antarctic Program, helping me learn requirements to help prepare me for my upcoming expedition. I have found the best substitute teacher who kindly offered to teach my students while I will be away. She and I have met several times, and she has met my students prior to this switch.