Arrival in Punta Arenas

Well so far, so good. Daragh arrived in Punta Arenas, Chile, on Sunday evening, via Madrid and Santiago. As of today (Monday), all six members of the team are present and, fortunately, so is all their luggage! There was an unexpected last-minute phone call at this end to make sure everybody’s kit was on a flight (some of the gear having only arrived in a north London depot on Saturday morning!), but apart from that all seems to be going smoothly so far.

While in Punta Arenas the six team members will get to know each other, review their route and expedition plan, prepare food and equipment, and maintain fitness through training sessions.

The flight from Chile to Antarctica is scheduled for Thursday 20th, but Antarctica is one of the most difficult places in the world to fly to and – in common with many aspects of this expedition – is dependant on local weather conditions. Delays are both normal and expected, and in some circumstances the flight could leave the day before. When the weather is suitable, the team will have just under an hour to prepare before leaving their hotel.

Because Antarctica experiences 24-hour sunlight during the summer and 24-hour darkness in winter, it is not subject to the usual time zone pattern which is linked to the movement of the sun. In fact all time zones converge at the geographic Pole, so each station simply chooses a timezone that is convenient to their work (the Amundsen-Scott station at the Pole uses New Zealand time). Daragh’s team will be using local time in Southern Chile (currently 3 hours behind the UK) to synchronise communications with their logistics base there.

More when I receive it…..
- AH