Travel Log: December 10th, 1997

Picture of the Day
Janice & Randy prepare
for Antarctica at the
Clothing Distribution Centre

DECEMBER 10th, 1997

After a long flight originating in Los Angeles, Randy and Janice arrived in Auckland, New Zealand where they changed planes and flew to Christchurch. Randy reports, "Christchurch and New Zealand are more British than the English. It is a small city with a larger botanical garden and a church in the center of the main square. Today is cool for here (11 °C) and looks rainy. It is close to the longest day of the year here, so sunrise is at 5:42am local time and sunset at 9:02 pm -- a very long day, indeed." Today Randy and Janice will visit the Clothing Distribution Centre (CDC) at the International Antarctic Centre where they will suit up for the next leg of their journey, to the South Pole. Randy's luggage, containing all the materials for their experiments at the South Pole, is still missing!

See also Travel Tales below!

Date/Time: 10 Dec 97 at 06:00 local time
Date/Time: 10 Dec 97 at 17:00 GMT
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
Weather: Partly Cloudy, rain likely
Temperature: 10.8oC = 51.4oF
Barometric Pressure: 782.3 mm Hg = 30.8 inches Hg
GPS latitude: E 172:32:329'
GPS longitude: S 43:29:348'
GPS elevation: 67 meters

Go on to the
next day...

Dec 10th Travel Tales

Randy Landsberg: "Today we visited the Clothing Distribution Centre (CDC) at the International Antarctic Centre (IAC). This was a very odd experience, because all of my past packing knowledge was useless. We were given a short introductory lecture that explained the logistical details of the clothing distribution.: We must try on everything! We are responsible for the clothing, especially the parkas. When we try everything on we should do it as we would on the ice, in other words: Do not model your parka in your shorts and tee shirt, but put it on after you have all of your other layers on. The process of trying on all our gear and finding the right fit was long and exhausting!

We also watched a video that had some footage of happy people dressed correctly and some intimidating scenes of people out in some strong winds with lots of snow blowing. The basic message was, you do not want to be unprepared, so take what they give you and make sure it fits correctly.

My luggage was lost somewhere between Chicago and Auckland! I hope it turns up, because it contains all the gear for our upcoming experiments."

Janice VanCleave: "Mrs. Phillips class at Pine Street school, Bishop, California asked if it is hard to travel to the South Pole. At this point in my journey, I would say YES!!!! and I still have about 12 flight hours of very hard traviling time ahead of me. On Dec. 7 I traveled from my home in Riesel, Texas to Los Angeles, California. This took about 12 hours in 3 planes. That was the easy part. The next flight from Los Angeles to Auckland, New Zealand was 12 continuous hours. I slept very little on the flight and arrived feeling very tired. Randy and I had a 2 1/2 wait, until our next flight. It wasn't a bad wait, since we were able to walk along an outside path to the terminal to catch the flight. The sky was clear and there were so many beautiful flowers, shrubs and trees along the path. The air was crisp and pleasantly cool. I could have taken a nap on the grass. But alas, I had a plane to catch. The flight to Christchurch was very nice. We had window seats and were able to view the beautiful land of New Zealand. Around Auckland, which is on the north island, the land from the air looked like a green patchwork quilt. The south island was a mixture of mountains and flat land. The mountains looked like green and brown velvet. Some has roads winding around them, but many did not. Close to Christchurch the flat fields were bordered by tall trees. The trees act as a wind break to protect the land. The flight was about 1 hour 45 minutes. At last, around noon on Dec. 9 (remember we crossed the international date line) we landed in New Zealand and were transported to our hotel. I was a bit dazed from lack of sleep and general jet lag, but I noticed that the driver was sitting on the right side of the van. Even with this knowledge tugged away in my fogged brain, I was startled when he pulled into the left lane of the road. Yes, they drive on the left side. I don't think I'll be here long enough to get use to this.

So that I could adjust to the new time zone, I decided not to sleep until bedtime. Randy and I took a bus to downtown Christchurch. We walked and walked and walked. It was fun to see all the buildings. Christchurch is called the Garden City and it is very descriptive. There are so many beautiful flowers in the yards here. But, even beautiful flowers were not enough to stimulate my tired mind. I needed sleep. So it was back to the hotel and finally SLEEP.

Dec. 10. All rested and bright eyed, I first visited a shopping mall to purchase very technical scientific supplies- balloons, batteries, and a water gun. Then it was on to the Antarctic Museum. Now this was a real treat. I saw videos of some of the areas that I would be visiting in Antarctica real soon. My next stop was to try on my polar clothes. It took 2 hours with lots of help to check each piece and make changes for correct sizes. My thought is that I want to be warm, so I chose to keep all the thick heavy stuff. The only problem is that I will have to stuff everything into 2 canvas bags and I'll have to carry the bags. Maybe I can drag them from the plane to the building across the ice. I'll figure out something. I am so excited about this trip. We are scheduled to meet at 7:15 am to dress in out polar clothes and the flight will leave at 10:00 am. YEA!!!! There are lots of things to do - pack my personal belonging so that I can quickly transfer them to the canvas carry on bags. While checking out of the hotel, the message came that the flight was cancelled and rescheduled for Friday morning. RATS!!!!! Well, I'll just make plans for tomorrow and enjoy my stay in this beautiful city."