Not only have I deserted Duncan for a month, but I am missing our second wedding anniversary. Luckily, it is surprisingly simple to call home from Antarctica, so I was able to surprise him with a phone call this morning. For his part, he sent through a special Antarctic crossword, which I think I've completed. A couple of clues are a little obscure unless you know me very well!
On a less exciting note, our first flight to Byrd Camp, which was supposed to fly last Wednesday and was rescheduled to today, got cancelled 15 minutes before they were due to leave. It's pretty frustrating because we now have good weather here, and I can hear helicopters buzzing all over the place, but apparently it's pretty windy at Byrd. We all have our fingers crossed that they'll get a couple of flights out there tomorrow.
We are still scheduled to 'bag drag' at 19:15 tonight, which involves taking all our hold luggage up to cargo. After this we'll just be left with hand luggage to survive for however long it takes. In the meantime, I thought I'd list my current top ten pieces of Antarctic kit:
1. Jenny's smartwool trousers - super comfortable, perfect temperature for McMurdo, and almost trendy.
2. Montane Windproof trousers - since it's not too cold here, just a windproof layer will keep you pretty warm if you head out for a walk. A last minute addition to my bag which have been used a lot.
3. My red/orange 'romper suit' top - bought for £10 in the middle of the night at 10-Mila this year, mainly to demonstrate my complete lack of fashion sense, turns out to be the perfect mid-layer.
4. Scott Base beanie - a lovely little merino hat which has added to the confusion about my nationality (Scott Base is the New Zealand base over the hill). Just right for McMurdo temperatures.
5. Rachel's down jacket - my 'big red' parka is a little overkill for the current 'warm' weather, but this down jacket is perfect to dash between buildings. Sadly now stowed in cargo for Byrd...
6. lip balm - carried everywhere
7. nalgene water bottle - personalised with a smartwool sticker
8. sunglasses - I have finally ditched my £2 pair bought at Boots in the early '90s
9. camera - a careful balance is required to avoid looking too much like a tourist
10. yak traks - actually found some to fit my size 4 trainers, and they've kept me upright on the black ice so far...
I suspect the list will look somewhat different once we move out to Byrd, and some 'proper' weather!