Four (Airplane) Touchdowns

By Cindy Furse · November 17, 2010 ·

Flying into New Zealand … a GREEN and tropical paradise!

Hooray!  We made it to our first stop!  We are here, in Christchurch, New Zealand, after more than a day on the planes.  Everything went well, if not totally smoothly (watch for David’s ‘Jog Blog’ about our last sprint between terminals … as in … they put the national and international terminals a few BLOCKS apart, we had quite a delay getting all of our various electronics through customs, and then we had to SPRINT to the next plane, but we are fast and we made it in good time.  Actually, the run felt good after sitting on a plane for more than 20 hours.

Today we have been in:

  • Salt Lake City, Utah with GPS Coordinates: (40.760779, -111.891047)
  • Los Angeles, California  (34.052234, -118.243685)
  • Sydney, Australia  (-33.859972, 151.211111)
  • Aukland, New Zealand  (-35.603718740697296, 173.84765625)
  • Christchurch, New Zealand  (-43.48481212891602, 171.9140625)

Tomorrow we will get our cold weather kits.

Friday we will fly to McMurdo Station, Antarctica  (I haven’t found these coordinates yet …. )

(Mrs. Gatch’s class … can you plot our GPS locations on your graph?)

So now we are here, at a hotel next to the headquarters of Antarctica New Zealand (there are pictures of penguins on the outside of the building, so I think it must be the right place!)

News of note …

When we flew in, it was like flying into a tropical paradise (like, with palm trees)!  It’s nice and warm, lots of flowers, very pretty.  It makes one think …. Here  we are, headed to one of the most hostile climates we can find.  What are we THINKING??? How about changing our research plan, hanging out on the beach, and measuring the electrical properties of sea sand instead of sea ice?    Hmmmm …. Going to have to think about that one…

When he picked us up at the airport, the shuttle driver was on the WRONG side of the car!  But he thinks we drive on the wrong side …. In New Zealand, cars drive on the LEFT side of the road.

Russell, the Ram, was very impressed by the ten dollar bill in Australia.  It has a cowboy and several horses on it.  And it has a little plastic window where you can see right through the bill!  The window has a windmill printed in white in the see-through part.  He thought you might like to see it…

Money is not worth the same amount in every country.  When we were in Australia, the exchange rate was 0.88.  I bought a roll of dental floss (because as soon as I took some out of mine, it was the last foot, and the roll was empty!).  The floss cost $3 Australian Dollars.  So, you multiply that by 0.88 (which is $2.64).  That was still pretty expensive for dental floss.

Well, it is 1am in the morning, Utah time, and we are headed out to get some dinner (our fourth dinner today, I think …)

You folks are all sound asleep!  Happy slumbers!  Cindy

About the author


Dr. Cindy Furse is a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the U. She is also the Assoc. VP for Research.
For more on Cindy’s adventures in Antarctica, check out the Photo blog.

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