Antarctica Dispatch

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

Back in New Zealand


It was a strange feeling being back in New Zealand. There wasn't that feeling of being in a new and foreign place. I had just left here a little over a month ago so it was like returning back to something familiar, and yet not.

The one difference in my flight over was traveling Business Class. It cost me quite a bit in airline miles, but considering a 'Business' ticket costs nearly $6000, it was better than feeling like being in a clam shell back in Economy. The last time I enjoyed an upgrade I was 16, and flying back from London. Things have definitely changed since then. The seats recline all the way flat and put any LZ-Boy to shame with all the different positions and massage capabilities. Now if they ever put a spa in these 747-400s we'd truly be in luxury.

Going through NZ Customs was a different matter. I didn't think they'd let me in. Last time I said I was going down to Antarctica, and they passed me through. This time the lady grilled me. On top of that I didn't declare I was bringing in 'hiking boots', because last time it wasn't a concern. I wasn't going hiking in NZ, I was using them as work boots in Antarctica. That statement at least got me a reprieve, but in any case I got the third degree.

In Christchurch the routine started with the first stop at the USAP Clothing Distribution Center (CDC). I had learned my lesson about luggage. I unpacked anything I didn't need for Antarctica to leave in NZ. Anything I didn't need immediately I boxed up for it to get shipped down. Then all I took was a few things for my hotel stay in town, which is for two nights. Ah, it's so wonderful walking around with short sleeves, sun on your face, and 'green' all around.


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