Six weeks to go

Time is flying. It’s been over a month since my job at British Antarctic Survey as Data Manager has been confirmed. I’m still finding it hard to believe this is really happening… how many people get to realise a dream of their life? I don’t know, but probably not many… I really am a lucky guy!

Anyway. I’m getting more and more busy with preparations for the trip. I’m still not sure of everything that I need to do or take with me, however the list is getting clearer and clearer as the time passes… 

Before I go

First, I need to finish off with the dentist. One thing that scares the living shite of me is I have to take all my wisdom teeth out. One down, three to go… 

Second – preparations for Cambridge. I’ll be moving over there mid July and need to find accommodation over there for 3-4 months and book the ferry ticket… Also, as I will be leaving Ireland for a while, I need to arrange the self storage unit and start thinking about the stuff that I’ll take with me to Cambridge (and Antarctica), the stuff that stays in Ireland and the stuff that I’ll need to get rid of. I will also need to rent a mailbox in Ireland to keep all my post there. 

Third – paperwork. There’s more and more stuff coming in from BAS as well as some of my own stuff that I have to look after too (e.g. my current passport will expire while I’m in Antarctica, so if I want to come back home, I need to get a new one!)

Fourth – shopping. This bit is more complicated and it’s still not entirely clear in my head. I definitely need some new clothes (thermals, mountain boots, polar fleeces, second pair of sunglasses, etc). I also need to get new rechargeable AA and AAA batteries and the charger (it’s not like I can go out to the shops when the battery in my headphones goes flat). I’ve been thinking of getting a GoPro camera and a new external hard drive to keep all pictures and videos on. A couple of memory cards would also come handy. I think I’ll need to make a list of books I’d like to read and probably get some new music so I have stuff to listen to…

I know as well there’s at least one more visit to my home country, Poland, in order before I go. 

Is there anything else I will need though? What else would you be bringing with you? 

Stuff I know I’m taking with me

There’s a good bit of stuff I know I will be taking with me. 

First and foremost, all my photo gear. Over the years I’ve managed to collect a number of lenses (Nikkor AF 50mm f/1.4D, Nikkor AF-S 12-24 f/4G DX, Nikkor AF-S 18-200 f/4-5.6G DX VRII and Nikkor AF 10.5 f/2.8G Fisheye), two Nikon DSLR cameras (D200 and D60) and some other accessories (a good Manfrotto tripod, SB-800 and two SB-R200 flash heads, Lee filters, etc). Some of that kit I’ve used for underwater photography quite successfully, I hope it will work fine in the Antarctic cold. 

I’m also bringing my 15″ MacBook Pro along with a few external hard drives. This is my workstation and I love it. I will be doing all my photo processing on it with Lightroom, I will also try to do a little of video editing if I get the GoPro camera (not sure which software to use for it though – I’ll probably start with iMovies). One of the things I’m planning to do a bit more while down South is Software Development. I’m already doing a bit of OSX development and I want to learn more (so XCode will be used frequently). 

Clothes-wise, I’ll be bringing t-shirts and jeans (the casual stuff) plus some polar fleeces, a North Face gore-tex jacket and a North Face down jacket, hats, gloves, some outdoor trousers and boots (when I get them). I’m also thinking of bringing my Musto BR2 sailing foul weather gear – if what I read is right, I might be stuck on a ship for a few weeks to a month on the way down. 

Stuff I’m wondering about

I know I will be given some more information after I start in Cambridge, and that I still have 4-5 months before I actually ship out. I’m trying to use the time I have a much as possible though, so I’m thinking about all this pretty much constantly. Should I be getting an iPad? I like the idea of it, I’ve always wanted one, but could never really justify the spend. Will it work? Does it make sense with lousy Internet connection? There is a link to the Internet over there, but it’s over the satellite dish and it’s not very fast. On the other hand, it would be perfect for reading or watching some shite while in bed… so maybe I should just go for it? what do you think? 

Care to comment?

If you have some thoughts as to what else I should be bringing with me, please don’t hesitate and use the comments below! 🙂 

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