Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Getting sorted

The process of coming back through McMurdo from a field camp is pretty remarkable, and I think of it as an exercise in shedding; of stuff and responsibility.  Our cargo from the plane arrives in a big bin- first we return our camping gear to the Berg Field Center, from which it came.  We give back our generators and mechanical gear to the Mechanical Equipment Center.  Our radios go back to the communication center.  Finally our science cargo is weighed, measured, tagged, and submitted to the cargo system.  We are then left with our personal gear and cold weather clothing.  We completed this process quickly today, and by evening (just after dinner), we took the near-final step in the process, the "Bag drag" which is essentially checking in for our flight.  We then shed almost the last of our posessions, and are left with the bare minimum; our essential cold-weather clothes (we're required to wear them on the plane) and a small hand-carry bag.  We then become (again) the "ungone"- those who have prepared everything for departure and are simply waiting for a plane.  And as I saw first-hand 2 years ago, this can sometimes take weeks...


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