Hello frequent fliers,
We’re on day three of delays and cancellations to fly to Antarctica from New Zealand, but were given the green light for a 4AM departure. So we packed up our bags at 1AM and shuttled to the airport to start the process. First a check-in, then a weigh-in and sit and wait for the bus to take us to the Kiwi C-130 cargo plane. After 40 minutes on the bus we finally boarded and sat in cramped cargo seats for another 30 minutes.
The engines started and by 4:30 we were on our way for the 8 hour flight. I napped, watched a few movies and made a few trips to the back of the plane to the urinal inside a tent like structure. It was looking promising as we approached the point of no return where there is not enough fuel to make it back so we would be committed to land at McMurdo. Suddenly the captain came on and in some unintelligible, garbled static told us we were turning around, so with no choice but to sit for another 5 hours we hunkered down for the slog back to Christchurch in what is referred to as a boomerang flight.
We touched down around 2:30 in the afternoon, tired and famished. Back on the vans, and back to the hotel to shower and crash for some real sleep. Basically we flew 10 hours to nowhere at some cost in the hundreds of thousands with a light breakfast to hold us over.
Back at the hotel I indulged in another delicious lamb shank dinner with real silverware, and we were just informed that we will not be attempting to fly again tonight, so it’s off to bed in a while to wait and see what tomorrow will bring.
Have a good day and stay tuned for the continuing saga of go or no-go to the Ice.