Antarctica Dispatch

Journal of my Antarctic experience working to support the United States Antarctic Program.



It is the day before I leave for the seventh continent. I showed up at Raytheon Polar Services HQ in Centennial, CO for orientation where we went over HR, Finance, Environmental Health & Safety, as well as a few other. It was here I ran into fellow Polies - Chris, Craig, and Rob along with those who were only going as far as McMurdo.

What an amazing few months it's been. Back at the beginning of September I was down in Houston, TX, as part of a DMAT helping out with Hurricane Katrina's aftermath. After coming back to Colorado, I began seeking out companies for a job. After hearing three friends were going down to Antarctica I applied on Raytheon's web site, thinking I'd get a call back for next year. Instead I got an interview. I was interviewed by many people including the galley cook. He asked me one question, "If the world was going to end tomorrow, what would you want for your last meal". Without having to think about it, I replied "Fugu". I think that sealed the deal. Of course I had no idea what an ordeal physically qualifying (known as 'PQ') for deployment would involve. There was a Psych Evaluation, an ultrasound to check my gallbladder, a blood test, a physical exam, and a dental exam. The dentist recommended nine fillings since I would be gone for a year, and having the medical doctor try to do the fillings wasn't the best. That set me back about $900. Hmm, maybe he also had a new set of golf clubs to pay off.

Next the other hurdle was getting my condo cleared out. I went down to Wal-Mart (OK I'm not a converted shopper. I just knew they'd have what I want) and bought a couple of 30 gal containers to store clothes and stuff in my garage. God, what a bunch of 'crap' I had laying around. I was so appreciative for my folkes coming out to help me. Well it's done know, and if I forgot something I can either live without it or ship it down. The only thing on my mind now is the adventure ahead.


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