So my excuse for missing the biggest FoW event in CHCH for some time is helping out the Christchurch City Council with the opening of the 55th consecutive Operation Deep Freeze.
I got to walk aboard a C-17 Globemaster and talk to some of the crew and pilots, in exchange for helping people park and find their way to it. I also helped stack donated cans for people in Christchurch that was part of the whole thing. Really fun overall.
I've been on these big cargo birds before when I was a jarhead, but they have gottten bigger and more capable over time. My longest flight is still an indeterminate number of hours on a C-141 from Okinawa to Thailand, (the long way around China and Vietnam), tucked between a couple jeeps (M151's) , a couple hundred seabags and a couple hundred other Marines.
On this C-17, gone are the long nylon covered benches, and instead we have individual seats.(?!)
There are also way less leaking hydraulics and I've noticed that the flyboys secure all of their gear pretty well nowadays. (What! I've heard of things going adrift...)
Roughly 5000 people showed up while I was working, so if you got a guided tour, then you stole my spot. Get me a text at least...;-)
I've always been fascinated by Antarctica and frankly I'm stoked that this operation is run out of my home town.