The final, ultimate, totally last like not kidding flight left yesterday afternoon. As is tradition, the winter-overs remaining gathered on the deck of the chalet, the posh spot in town, for a champagne toast as the plane flew directly over McMurdo (they usually fly out over the sea ice).
I was supposed to be working, but my boss said I could go. Yay! Experiencing it was more special than I thought. Yeah, it’s just a plane flying overhead, but in its wake came a sense of finality, of “this is really happening,” as well as excitement about what’s ahead. And, deeper down, there was a whisper not of fear or doubt but a sense that a remote place just became more remote.
I won’t lie. For half a second, and only mostly flippantly, I thought “well, I guess this is how Shackleton’s men felt.”
I filmed the moment, though it probably won’t have the same significance to outsiders. Note: video is rated R due to language. Jus’ sayin.’
And now, we settle in to the winter routine, as the darkness and cold slowly envelope us. I’m ready.