The first six days of this season are best summed up with the question, "Where's our luggage?" I flew from Bangor to Christchurch on October 10-12, but I came very close to missing my connection in Los Angeles; my bags did miss the connection. So I spent the first couple of days in New Zealand with minimal clothing (I bought enough to tide me over), and none of my gear.
Thankfully, I did have my camera on me, so I can introduce to you Macaroni, the penguin, who has joined us this year from Asa Adams school in Maine. Also joining Karl and me are Mike Waskiewicz and Terry Gacke, from last year, and a new crew member, Toby Burdet. This is Toby's first trip to Antarctica, and he is enjoying himself going through the Happy Camper school (see the 2003 description of this class) and meeting new people here at McMurdo. Toby has a lot of experience in the mountains as a guide, so fortunately, he is not fazed by the cold -12° F (-42° with wind chill).
Fortunately, my bags arrived in Christchurch just before we got on to the plane to come down to "MacTown", so I have clothing and personal gear again. Unfortunately, however, we arrived here to discover that all of the science gear that Karl and I packed in August to ship down here has not arrived. So we are now waiting for the equipment that will allow us to complete our research. The cargo handlers here are very good at finding and moving boxes, so we should have our instruments by early next week, but it's an unfortunate delay.
In the meantime, Mike, Terry, Toby and I are gathering all of our camping equipment so that we will be comfortable during our season (as comfortable as possible, anyway), and getting it all packaged to head out. Macaroni particularly enjoyed the chocolate, though he found the whole process of gathering material for an Antarctic expedition enjoyable.
I will be in touch again before we take off and then again when we return. For now, it's back to the room for some sleep.