I am writing this blog post en-route to Punta Arenas; the adventure is begun! Due to the weird world of airline ticket pricing, we’re not all traveling together, instead in ones, twos, or threes, we’re making our way through multiple US airports, and hoping to meet up in Santiago, Chile. One group is visiting Philly and Miami, another Charlotte and Miami, and I get the tour of Washington DC and Dallas Fort-Worth airports. Our bags are full of clothes, and the last minute science gear that for various reasons wasn’t shipped along with the rest. So rolled up in my hat are a bag of krill counters, and tucked in behind the laptop are 2 clipboards and a small net.
It’s been a long day, with another long travel day ahead tomorrow. I wasn’t the only one of our group up late last night and early this morning with last minute things. Packing and readying for a month in Antarctica isn’t easy, but that was done, what snuck up on me was getting ready to disappear from the “real world” for over a month. It’s amazing how many little things you have to do as a functional member of society, like paying bills, cleaning house, taking care of your car, and sending holiday cards. They all just sort of happen in the normal course of life – but when you’re trying to get a month or more’s worth done in advance, it is more time consuming than I’d estimated.
With arrival in Punta Arenas imminent I’m looking forward to little favorite things in my favorite Chilean city. The super market, Unimark, near the dock has a bakery, which makes these square bread rolls with little holes on top that pull apart into layers and are so delicious. Other’s in our group are looking forward to a sandwich and cerveza at Lomit’s, a local establishment just off the main square with great sandwiches the size of paving stones! Many of us have only been to Punta Arenas in the winter, so we’re curious to see it in the summer, see if the parks and promenades that are almost empty in winter are bustling in the long summer days!
Most of all though we are looking forward to getting on the ship, and getting our equipment set up and tied down for science!
In less than 24 hours, assuming all goes well, we’ll be there!