PRISM logo

Polar Radar for Ice Sheet Measurements

Curved ice line
Jagged line

Home>Virtual PRISM>Daily Journal

Jagged line
  Tuesday, December 20, 2005

The second half of the PRISM/CReSIS team landed safely in Christchurch, New
Zealand, today. We got here about 5:30 a.m.
It was quite a long trip. David Braaten, Prasad Gogineni, Jennifer Holvoet
(all professors), along with the Graduate Research Assistants Joel Plummer
and Richard Stansbury, left snowy Lawrence, KS, at 10 a.m. on December 18.
We got to the airport in Kansas City, MO, about 11 a.m. After two hours we
boarded a flight to Dallas, TX, where we met Jerome Mitchell, a team member
and Undergraduate Research Assistant from Elizabeth City State University
(North Carolina). Following a short wait, we then flew to Los Angeles, CA.
There we waited a couple of hours, then flew to Auckland, New Zealand, where
we cleared customs. But we were not done yet. We then had to take a flight
to Christchurch, NZ, from Auckland. Overall, we were in the air for about 22

This morning, around 4:30 a.m., we crossed the international date line. That
means that we gained a day. So while I am writing this e-mail at 5:30 p.m.
on the 20th in Christchurch, it is 10:30 p.m. on the 19th back home in

We had some free time today, so several of the team members took a little
trip from our hotel near the airport into the heart of Christchurch. We had
lunch at a tearoom where we had toasties (a slice of bread and a slice of
cheese rolled up into a tube, then grilled) and pasties (little meat pies).
These were quite tasty and gave us energy for a little shopping and further
touring. After looking through several shops, we discovered that "possum"
fur is quite popular in New Zealand. It is not the opossum that we are
familiar with, but is a cat-sized creature with very dense and soft fur.
Many items in the shops include possum fur. Then we headed out, via the city
bus system, to take a gondola ride to the top of an extinct volcano. This
was really worth the effort and money as we had a spectacular view of
Christchurch. In fact, the island of New Zealand is small enough at this
point that from our vantage point we could see the ocean on both sides of
it. Did I mention that we were really HIGH up! It was gorgeous and the
weather was cooperating beautifully. New Zealand is really a pretty and
friendly place.

Tomorrow we check in at the Antarctic Center and get the clothing, sleeping
bags and other gear that will help us survive safely in Antarctica. We are
looking forward to getting on our way, but we really enjoyed our day looking
around the beautiful city of Christchurch.

NOTE: This was the entire journal entry, not just page 1.

PRISM © 2002, 2003 is brought to you by
NSF logo
National Science Foundation University of Kansas
NASA logo
KTEC logo
Kansas Technology Enterprise Corporation
University of Kansas logo
University of Kansas