Unfortunately I’m still at Casey station, waiting for my turn to get to Aurora Basin. It’s been a frustrating week waiting for good weather to fly.

Finally, at the end of the week, the first planes flew to Aurora Basin with Mark, Simon, Malcolm (the doctor) and some important cargo. A second flight left with David, Jerome and Trevor, just before lunch, with more cargo.

We are allowed to send only 6 people on the first day due to the cold temperature, strong wind (−29°C, 15 knots) and high altitude environment. These members are highly experienced and will begin the science project — drilling the ice cores and conducting firn air sampling.

It was an exciting moment when the first crew left after 2.5 weeks of waiting. Mark was surrounded by several media crew and they were taking close-up photos of him. One media crew put a mike on Mark and followed him with a video camera.

The first team put all their personal gear in the bus, said farewell to the rest of us, did a video interview and photo session, and were ready to go.

Hopefully everything goes well so that the rest of us can get into the field soon. I don’t need a Christmas present — just a few days of good weather! All my fingers and toes are crossed!