Saturday, December 4, 2010 — In Flight, 6:00 p.m. EST
Sat, 12/04/2010 - 2:00pm
I left Atlanta at around 4 p.m. Saturday, bound for Los Angeles. It is a five-hour flight and then I then have a two-hour layover in LA. From there it is a 13-hour flight into Auckland, New Zealand, another two-hour layover, and then a flight into Christchurch NZ, arriving at 1:00 p.m. Monday.
While many people visit Antarctica, mostly on cruise ships along the coast to view the “ice shelf,” only a very few actually get to see the interior of the continent and fewer still go to the South Pole Station. One of the folks hosting us commented that you can buy your way into space more easily than you can buy a ticket to the South Pole. Most of the visitors spend their days “island hopping” and do not get an opportunity to venture inland. The only way to get to the McMurdo or the South Pole is by specially outfitted military aircraft.
It is summer and there are approximately 1,000 people at McMurdo. Both McMurdo Station and the South Pole Station are occupied year round with about 50 hardy souls wintering over at the South Pole Station. The continent is more than 50 percent larger than the United States and has great expanses of glaciers and mountains. It is the highest continent on Earth, largely due to the ice cover, which can reach as much two miles thick. There is no such thing as “Native Antarcticans” — there are no indigenous people at the South Pole — no polar bears and no igloos.
Next Post > Sunday, December 5, 2010 — From L.A. to Auckland
Sun, 12/05/2010 - 2:00pm