All ready to go, but no ride

All our gear ready to be put on the next available LC-130 Hercules. Skidoos are also prepped and strapped in pairs. Personal bags (including things like all of James’ hair products for that golden flow) are with us in our tents and will be carried on the day of the flight.

In an ideal world, today John would have gotten some gear put in for next year and we’d be GO for a flight back to McMurdo tomorrow. However, delays are inevitable, and when it comes to aircraft repairs, that can mean lengthy delays when you’re so removed from facilities and the supply network – ultimately waiting for parts or even flying the aircraft back to New Zealand.

None of us slept very well last night, I think the silence and relative warmth here at Shackleton (SHG) was a bit of a shock to our systems – or we just missed our respective tent partner’s snoring. We got to work early this morning after breakfast, getting all of our gear ready and palletized for our scheduled LC-130 flight tomorrow (Saturday). The drop for next season’s camp was delayed twice due to weather at the destination before ultimately being cancelled.
A LC-130 from McMurdo (MCM) arrived at 10:30, returning to MCMw ith some passengers and gear as the season begins to wind down. Unfortunately, upon returning to MCM it is in need of repairs that can only be conducted back in New Zealand. It was our scheduled ride back to MCM tomorrow. Our backup plane, a Basler, is awaiting repairs in MCM as a part is needed from New Zealand (was on a plane today but got turned around mid-flight presumably due to weather at MCM). Alas, we will not be flying to McMurdo tomorrow (no flights on Sunday either) and could have an extended stay here in Shackleton. All of this also means Team A will likely be waiting to get pulled out as the Twin Otter is outbound for MCM today/tomorrow to help pull people out of the field near there.
With nothing more to do but wait, we’ll chip in and help out around camp where we can and enjoy the nice weather that seems to frequent Shackleton. There are definitely worse places to be waiting for flights (major airport at holiday season anyone?), and besides, at least we’re surrounded by good company – even if all they (Ioannis) do is talk about the LA Lakers (I guess that’s fair enough seeing as I led him to believe they were in last while in the field with no way for him to check).
Posted by Scott from Shackleton Glacier Camp on 2018-01-12 at 20:00 local.