My last post from Christchurch was almost two weeks ago. It seems like the past two weeks have FLOWN by with getting back into the swing of things down here. Here’s what’s been happening.
After an extra day in Christchurch due to poor weather on the Ice… Hold on. Let me back up. So the extra day delay in Christchurch was interesting. The hotel that I was originally staying in, The Crowne Plaza, was completely full the night we were delayed. All of us Ice-peeps had to transfer to another hotel, but no one knew where they were being moved to… It was a cluster. A great big Charlie Foxtrot. However, it all worked out and I happened to get placed in one of the Penthouse Suites at the Fino Hotel, which happened to be right down the road. Rather than going out and enjoying the botanic park, I decided to spend my extra night in my super posh room because, let’s face it, who knows when I’ll ever get to stay in such a nice hotel room. I had wine, cheese, and amazing bread. I was good to go.
The following morning, it was an early pickup to head to the CDC (Clothing Distribution Centre) to gear up and board for the Ice. This deployment I was able to fly down on the airbus. My previous flights down I have either been on a C17 or an LC130. After a 5.5 hour flight, we touched down at Phoenix airfield. I had originally thought the flight was going to be much longer, but I was thankfully mistaken.
Walking down the steps of the airbus, my nose hairs froze. As I crossed the ice to Ivan the Terra Bus, my glasses fogged over and ended up freezing. But looking out towards the mountains, I could see the alpenglow. My last redeployment, which for personal reasons I believed would be my actual last redeployment ever, I saw the same view, and cried. My return brought tears again. Tears of happiness this time. Then I remembered how quickly tears freeze down here so I wiped my face off quickly and hopped into Ivan. One of my friends saw how badly my glasses were frozen so he pulled me into the seat next to him, near the front, so I didn’t have to try to stumble my way to the back. We chatted about things that had been occurring in our lives in the four years since we’ve seen each other on the way to Mactown. It was good to catch up.
Upon arrival in McMurdo, we were taken to Crary for the arrival brief. Which wasn’t exactly brief, but that’s normal. Afterwards, Jonathan and I went to the Firehouse to get briefed on what all was going on and so Jonathan could start his shift. I ended up staying for a few hours and then had one of the guys help me transport my bags to my dorm room.
I am living in BL209, which is the building I lived in my last time down, and I took over the room that Wes and Marsha were living in. It was so awesome to walk in and see all of the notes they left me, as well as all of the other miscellaneous goodies. Wes and Marsha are THE BEST. Plain and simple.
Over the next few days, I managed to get my room set up to how it will best fit myself and a roommate when I get one for the summer season. I’ll eventually take some pictures of it but I keep forgetting to. It’s a little paradise in there, in my opinion. I am amused with how much I love my oil diffuser and how people will walk into my room if I’m in there with the door open just to actually SMELL something.
As far as work goes, wellll….. It’s been four and a half years since I was last here. A lot of procedures and protocols came back to me immediately, and some others have taken some brushing up on. Then there are other things that are brand new to me. And the work load has been incredibly busier than the start of my other seasons.
Right now, I should probably add that I’m on hour 13 of a 10 hour shift. So if this post is rambling and doesn’t quite seem coherent, that is why.
But Tori, why are you on hour 13 of a 10 hour shift.
The weather has been NASTY over the past few days. We’ve had longer Condition One declarations called in town called than I did during either of my winters. This, of course, is causing people to be contacted in the middle of the night for alarms or system failures and the result is a lot of people are cranky right now. I just got off the phone with someone who was not very happy but I know not to take it personally. Just doin’ my job.
Before the weather turned bad on Saturday evening (keep in mind we are 18 hours ahead of east coast time) I had a chance to take a stroll down to Hut Point with one of my firefighter friends. So before I continue this long rambling post, I’ll share some photos for your enjoyment.