Today should be my last day on the ice. Barring any (further) mechanical delays, by this time tomorrow I’ll be New Zealand.
Even though I’m leaving on my predetermined date, I’m actually a day late.
“Dude?” – we’ve both been here all winter and complete sentences or thoughts are often unwarranted.
“Did you talk to medical? Go pack your shit. You’re leaving on a medevac this afternoon.”
Of course I had left my pager at home while I went to breakfast. I wasn’t supposed to be in clinic, I was supposed to be at home cleaning and packing. So I hadn’t heard anything. I popped my head into medical and walked right into a storm. A medevac was indeed happening. An explosion of frantic energy greeted me at the door. And no one gets greeted at the door at medical.
I would be the “attendant” or “flight medic” depending on who you were talking to or what manifest you were reading. And depending on if the Air Force was involved. Man they can complicate things. I’m very appreciative to have them accessible, but also in awe of how fast things can spin up into something bigger than perhaps necessary. But it all got sorted.
And then our plane broke. So now I’m leaving on my previously pre-appointed date. A day late. Fittingly enough, I’m also headed to the air strip in an ambulance. I just can’t stay out of ambulances.
So, cross your fingers, pray to your god, God or gods; with any luck I’ll be drinking a cold IPA by the time most folks in the northern hemispheres are getting up for coffee.
Antarctica. Always an adventure.