Date: Mon, 16 Oct 2000

I'm in Christchurch, New Zealand and as usual I feel like I've done something especially clever to have gotten myself here. Birds are chirping, flowers are flowering, and New Zealand is just one of the nicest countries you could hope to meet. Unfortunately it's been good weather in McMurdo so we're scheduled to leave tomorrow - no Christchurch vacation for us.

I've been travelling with a very exclusive group: all Polies (South Pole people). It's about an even mix of new folks and returnees. It's been great seeing friends from last year, and I've caught up with some of the folks I know who wintered at McMurdo and just made it to Chch. We'll be on the first flight in to Pole so none of the Pole winterovers has left there yet. Of course rumors and gossip are flying. ("I heard that they triwalled and retroed the Skua pile!" "No!") ("Did you hear about Mike getting fired at Winfly?") This is Raytheon's first year with the contract so things are a bit rough. The entire Travel department quit or was fired, so people aren't getting airplane tickets until the day before their flights; there's a new bonus scheme that some folks don't like; etc. We've all got our fingers crossed.

Today's excitement was getting our ECW, the Extreme Cold Weather gear. They issue some really good stuff and this year I knew some of the things to ask for. And - they found me a parka that fits! I'm very happy about that. I'll be spending a lot of time in that parka over the course of the year.

I'm off to buy myself some of the goodies that will make life pleasant on the Ice - munchies, good tea, Marmite. I have to remind myself that having the extra baggage allotment for winter doesn't mean that I have to use it all.

Speaking of goodies, here's my address:

Sarah Kaye, RPSC
South Pole Station
PSC 468 Box 400
APO AP 96598-5400

It's domestic postage but you'll have to fill out a customs form for packages. Just a couple rules: no styrofoam peanuts, dirt, plants, or perishables; and NO telling me what a great package you're assembling for me and then never sending it. You know who you are.

Enough babbling for now. I'll write from McMurdo.

Take care,


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