My second week at McMurdo station is coming to a close, and I'm still not quite sure what my plan is. I know that I work fuels while I'm here, and that there's dozens of tons of equipment at Pole waiting for me to unbury and bring back to life. What I don't know is when I fly, what to expect, and many other details. I like my details.
Life in the fuels department has been hectic lately. We have a big stack of planes trying to get down from New Zealand, and are scrambling to get both of our airfields up and in operational condition. On our end, this means we need to have massive fuel tanks, hoses, pump houses, filters, and nozzles for filling the planes. Once it's all assembled, we need to fill the tanks with fuel so that we have something to put in the planes when they land. Over the last three days, that's exactly what we've done. We currently have eight tanks (each golding 20,000 gallons of fuel), two pump houses, and four nozzles set up on the Ross Shelf. It's been a lot of work putting everything in place, but being able to fuel a plane is an experience that makes the work worth it. It also means that we can now start taking LC-130 arrivals. These are the planes that fly cargo and people down to Pole, and are the planes I'm waiting to hop on.
The first LC-130 was supposed to arrive tonight. Ten of the passengers on it have not arrived on continent yet, and so ten of us who were going to go on a later flight were bumped ahead to fill their places. It became a race against the C-17, as if the others arrived before the LC-130 left, we would get bumped and they would go to Pole first (and our bags would go with them). Tonight, an hour before we were supposed to take our bags to the cargo department to be palletized, the LC-130 flight was pushed back two days. The C-17 is supposed to come in tomorrow. I'm still on the flight manifest for the LC-130. I have no idea what's going on. People keep telling me to relax and just go along with it, and they're right. It's just hard not to worry. But I'll try.
I'm gonna go with the flow, and see if it takes me down South.