Dec 17 Getting Ready to Fly to Antarctica I have been in Punta Arenas a few days now. My time has been spent getting last minute food and gear and meeting with our logistics provider to get all the details worked out.
Both Saray and Christina are now here and we have gone through all their gear and clothing. We had to go shopping to get a few items that they did not bring with them. This is a very specialized trip and we must make sure everyone has the proper gear as this will provide a safe and relatively comfortable expedition environment and give us a greater chance of success in reaching the South Pole and the summit of Mount Vinson.
Our scheduled flight to Antarctica is tomorrow so today we have to take all out expedition bags to ALE’s office so they can be weighed and put on the plane. Just as with a normal commercial flight we have size restrictions for our carry on bag and weight limits for our checked bags. Since we have to pull or carry everything we want to be as light as possible anyway.
Once the bags were handed over to ALE I showed Saray and Christina around Punta Arenas a bit. We went to the grocery store and the outdoor gear store for a few last minute items. I took them to the famous Shackleton Bar where Ernest Shackleton planned the rescue of his men from Elephant Island in 1916. This one of the most famous rescue stories in human history and many books have been written about this story and Shackleton’s leadership skills.
At 4:00 we met at the ALE office once again for our flight briefing, Antarctica orientation, and social with the other teams that will be flying with us. Unfortunately, we will not be flying tomorrow due to poor flying conditions. We need at least a 12 hour good weather window for the plane to get there and back safely. We will get another update tomorrow night and hope to fly Thursday morning. Because of this delay, we also need to book another night accommodation and our current hotel is full so I have booked us at one of my local favorite hotels Plata Del Condor. It is a bit of a step down from where we are now but it is comfortable.
After the meeting, we wandered around town for a bit and then went to a local favorite restaurant La Luna. Dinner was good and then it was time for bed. People are still dealing with jet lag and I think there is a bit if disappointment that our flight is delayed. But what is critical in the big expedition word is patience, agility, resilience. Let’s hope for a sunny day tomorrow.
Until tomorrow, the Antarctic Team.