Thursday, June 7, 2007

Back Home

For the trip home, I had a great group of traveling companions: Sam, Stella, Patrick, Jesse, and Chris.  The flight from Punta Arenas to Santiago went very smoothly and passed more quickly than expected.  We had a few hours to kill so we got some dinner and then I decided to do some duty-free shopping.  I went a little crazy in the duty-free alcohol section in Santiago and bought four bottles of wine and three bottles of Pisco.  Since I bought them in a duty-free shop, they kept the bottles and gave them to me on the jetway after having my bags searched.  I had a row to myself on the way from Santiago to Dallas which definitely made the flight much more comfortable for me.  We picked up our bags and said goodbye to Jesse.  Stella, being a non-US citizen, took a lot longer to get through immigration.  She eventually showed up in time for a quick goodbye to her, Patrick, and Sam.  It was probably good that it was quick as I tend to get mushy and teary-eyed at goodbyes much more now that I am older.  It was sad to see the last of the seal team go as I had really enjoyed their company and their letting me be a part of their adventure.  I met and enjoyed spending time with a lot of great people on this trip, but they were definitely my favorites.

Now that I had my bags, I had some creative packing to do.  Since liquids are not allowed on US flights, the trick came in figuring out how to pack seven glass bottles into my checked luggage in a way that would keep them all from breaking.  It took a little time, but luckily I brought a huge suitcase.  The flight from Dallas to
Denver seemed the longest, but I made it home without any problems.  A soon as I got my bags, I opened up the one with all of the bottles, and was VERY relieved to see that they all made it safely.

I'll continue to add a post every few days as I go back and fill in moments and upload pictures now that I have a bit more time and am on solid ground.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Returning Home

I'm leaving Chile today to head home.  My flight leaves at 1:55pm EDT and I get back to Denver at 10:40am tomorrow (AA 0701 for those at the airport who might want to stop by).  It's been a great trip, but I'm really looking forward to getting home.  I'll work on a summary post on the flights home.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Almost to Punta Arenas

The real-time map shows that we are 19 nmi from Punta Arenas with the

Drake, the South Atlantic, and Antarctica behind us. I'm scheduled to

disembark from the LMG tomorrow, check into the Jose Nogueira hotel,

turn in the massive amount of gear that I was issued, and still wrap up

some work on the LMG and in the warehouse. Needless to say, I'm going

to have a busy day, so there might not be a post tomorrow. Good news is

that I'll be sleeping in a hotel and not on the boat. Also, I'll

hopefully be getting some different food. Carl, if you ever read this,

no offense to you or your staff as I know you have limited means with

regard to your land-based competition.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Not Getting Off Easy

We finished the Drake yesterday, but the South Atlantic is not letting

us go home without a fight. I think most have spent too much time in

their bunk as I'm starting to see more of my companions throughout the

day, but for lesser amounts of time. I've given up on the Melcizine as

it makes me too groggy and incoherent. We are supposed to make it to

the Straits of Magellan this evening and be in Punta Arenas around

0400. I've also had about all I can of the ship's food. For dinner

last night I had an orange, some Fruit Loops, and a sugar cookie. I'm

REALLY craving a good pizza.