Sunday, February 18, 2007

Closing the Pole

It's been a very busy week and although the
postings have been few, the happenings have
been many. The Pole closed today.
After much humming and hawing, the last pax of
the season came through McMurdo on their way
north. As it was Sunday and my day off, I
volunteered to drive a shuttle van full of ATO
McMurdo-ites to Pegasus Runway. I'd never
driven as far as Pegasus before, so in one trip,
I've now driven more miles than all my time in a
vehicle previously. It's about 14 miles each way
from McMurdo, and when you're only driving 20 miles
per hour, it takes some time.

We got there pretty early, almost an hour before
the C=17 was due to land. The LC-130 landed
from the Pole though and dropped off all of the
passengers that would be coming straight through
to Christchurch. I had nice chats with Kevin, who
will be working this winter in Supply, and with
Genevieve, who is a fuelie at McMurdo, but had just
spent the last 5 weeks working at Pole. I also go
to say goodbye to Dave and Kelly, who are two friendly
guys I spent the summer with working in ATO. They're
going to be doing quite a bit of travelling before
going back to their home in Oregon.
All the passengers lined up and it was my job to keep
everyone from wandering off while moving forward to
pick up their flight lunches and then get on the
plane. It felt a bit like Red Rover, Red Rover,
send your passengers right over as everyone was in
a straight line, just waiting to move forward

Finally everyone was able to get onto the plane.
Me and the three others that were driving had to
wait around awhile because if the plane wasn't able
to take off, we'd have to take everyone back to
McMurdo. We got the ok from Pete, who was acting
as MC1 (the person in control of airfield operations)
and we headed back to town. It was a nice trip back
as I was taking in Alia and Matt who had just flown in
to spend the winter. Although I was tired when I got
home, it was a fun time and a great trip.

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