Dear frequent flier fans,
We flew out of Houston last Thursday with high hopes of routing through Los Angeles, Sydney, Australia and finally Christchurch, New Zealand by Saturday evening, but our plans were altered when the captain of the 15 hour Pacific ocean crossing flight announced that because of headwinds and unexpected fuel consumption that it looked like it might be a close call to make it to Sydney and we were going to land in Brisbane, Australia instead to pick up more petrol for our gas guzzling 747. Of course by the time we stopped to refuel and take off again we had missed our connecting flight, but Quantas shuttled us to a hotel for a nap-inviting room and a meal to boot. Back at the airport for another mind numbing check-in through security and aboard a new flight, we finally arrived at 1:00 AM in Kiwiland.
Immigration and customs was a breeze, and my medical team colleagues were visibly disappointed when I didn’t get pulled out for the bag of teeth I was bringing along to help train the next doctors to deal with dental emergencies, plus I made it in with a fortune of donated dental materials and equipment for the clinic in Antarctica without having to contribute to the New Zealand tax base. Following a coma like sleep we spent the day at the Antarctic center to listen to presentations and get our extreme weather gear, including the heavy duty parka referred to as “Big Red,” since the temps are still hovering around 30 below (F) even with the sun starting to peek over the horizon for the first time in months. Our flight to the Ice is scheduled for mid day tomorrow as long as the weather holds out, but if we’re forced to stay another day or two in New Zealand I guess we’ll adapt to sightseeing and hot tubbing the days away.
“Big Red” Bob