|Geoff Sims @ UNSW|
Thursday, 20th December, 2012
ECW issue and airport wanderings (Geoff)
Today was our scheduled day for the issue of ECW (Extremely Cold Weather) gear, which was retrieved from the CDC (Clothing Distribution Centre) near the airport. The CDC is quite an inconspicuous building:
Prior to collecting our gear, our laptops had to be screened (essentially they make sure your operating system is up to date and that antivirus definitions are current) and we watched some really
boring interesting films describing the clothing issue process, the baggage requirements (check-in, carry-on, etc.) and waste management procedures (chemical waste, human waste, recycling, etc.).
You are required to try on every piece of issued gear, as little to no replacements are available on the ground in Antarctica. It was quite a lengthy process to obtain all the correct sized clothing, as well as make sure we had the warmest possible combinations, since our field camp will likely be the coldest place any USAP (United States Antarctic Program) participant will be at this summer. The clothing is then packed into a number of bright orange bags:
After lunch, we wandered around the vicinity of the airport, to try and get a glimpse of the aircraft we could be flying in. Apparently, we will be on an Airbus A319 which is on loan from the AAD (Australian Antarctic Division). While somewhat less "interesting" than a US military C-17 or C-130 (that are typically used), the flight will be short and comfortable, and with any luck we'll be able to get some sleep on the way down.
Our flight is still scheduled for tonight, and the departure time is
22:00, 23:00, 23:59.
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