The day has finally arrived. After clearing customs we head out to the tarmac on a fine warm Christchurch morning. My first glimpse of the somewhat daunting looking South African Hercules is yes! I am heading South. We board the plane in our multi- layered Antarctic kit which was fitted yesterday. . Before being seated a brown paper bag thrust in my hands by a smiling burley South African that contained all sought’s of goodies for the flight down. After getting use to the shaking and shuddering of the old Hercules, the 8 hour flight was quite pleasant. I still couldn’t get those damn ear plugs to stay in. I noticed that I was the only one suffering from this rather annoying practice of trying to re locate the plug so they didn’t fall out again. It must have looked as though I constantly trying to shove a finger in my ear. The plane was only half full with 4 Kiwis and the rest American. Fortunately we had windows which enabled me to take a look at the sea ice developing as we approached the Sub Antarctic. Then a short time later, there she was in all its glory Antarctica. Absolutely stunning. We flew down the line of the Trans Antarctic Mountain Range on the approaches to Ross Island and Scott Base.  After landing the first thing I notice is the rush of cold air. A quick obligatory photo of the old Hercules and off we trundle to Scott Base where we are warmly greeted. After refreshments it was a a very comprehensive tour of Scott Base and induction. My first thoughts are this is one hell of a professional outfit. The plan tomorrow – Antarctic Field Training.


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