Posted by: Talie Morrison | October 18, 2008

Leaving Antarctica

Wow what a week it has been.   Hard to believe that one week ago, I was finishing my last day of work in Antarctica!  The start of “Main Body” at McMurdo got off to a very late start.   The planes that were supposed to come in on September 30th and then every two days – were not able to get there for over a week!   So the first plane actually got in on October 8th.   Instead of having 8 days to train my replacement, I had only 2!  But Caitlin is a fast learner and she was up and running before I left.   So my deployment day went from being October 10 to October 13 – which wasn’t so bad.   

Our plane was supposed to leave the ice at about 3 pm on that Monday, and as things happen we did lift off, but it was 5 pm when we left.  It was the big C17 transport – amazing!  The flight was very smooth – there were only 6 of us North bound passengers – So there were more “crew” than passengers.  Coming down this time of year, most of the space is taken up with equipment for the scientists.   But going back all that cargo area is empty except for a few empty containers.     It was about 11 pm when we arrived in beautiful green New Zealand!   I was rolling in the grass at midnight!   And I think I stuck my nose in every blooming bush and tree I could find!  I am loving the sights and smells! Amazing that the bees haven’t stung me.   I spent the first night in a lovely B&B there in Christchurch (The Windsor Hotel) since it was paid for by the “company”.   Can’t pass up an opportunity like that!   However, with all the changes and emotions and things going on in my head, I hardly slept a wink that night.   At 4 am I was up soaking in a hot bath tub (haven’t been able to do that for the last 14 months!)  

So Tuesday I needed to “hit the ground running” —   I have lots of errands to tie up before I go to SE Asia with Dianne – not the least of which is getting my passport renewed!   It is a bit scary being in a foreign country and sending my passport off (even if it is New Zealand – my favorite country – and only to Auckland).   But all the other little odds and ends of getting my “new” van, driving on the left, mailing things back home, arranging insurance, immunizations for SE Asia,  etc. have kept me busy for a couple of days.   And it is great fun to still be seeing my winter-over friends here in Christchurch. 

So my new van (I’m still working on it’s name) is AWESOME!   I am so excited to be a “van dweller” again!  🙂 And of course once again I am driving on the left side of the road!   I think this is starting to feel more natural than being on the right side!  Uh Oh, what does that mean?   Do I belong down here?  Or what?  

My wonderful friends, Myles and Margaret, live here in Christchurch and they invited me to come stay with them.   Actually my backpack and gear spent the last 14 months in their house!   They had plans to go to North Carolina to visit their son and family and see the beautiful fall colors.  With all the delays, we were beginning to wonder if I would get off the ice before they left.  Luckily I did.  And the next thing I knew – I am housesitting for them!   Now how perfect is that??!!  I haven’t been off the ice even a week and here I am living out of my vehicle and housesitting!   Was I really ever in Antarctica?  Life is such a hoot!  

Today, Saturday, I went to an A&P show – like a country fair in the States.   I wanted to get there early to see the dog demonstrations – and it was well worth it!   I am amazed at the intelligence of sheep herding dogs!   We also went to the sheep shearing competitions, all the booths, food demonstrations, quilting displays (Margaret had a quilt on display – I had been with her when she purchased in material in Colorado!) It was great fun, even if it was rather rainy, windy and cold (wait…. I did that in Antarctica – except the rain part! 🙂   

So life is good – I’m having a blast in New Zealand and I’m off to SE Asia on the 31st.  And I’ll keep updating this “blog-thing”!  🙂



  1. Awesome! My Mom the blogger 🙂

    I have the BEST mom ever!!!

  2. I agree with Craig. Talie, you are totally awesome! Great to know you’re happily back in New Zealand.

  3. Hurray Talie 🙂 I have your blog address bookmarked!

  4. I can see your smile in every word you wrote! Happy adventures!

  5. Glad to hear that life is good for you!!! You have been an inspiration to many (some whom you don’t even know as I have shared some of your stories with my German friends)! Enjoyed hearing about all of your crazy adventures and look forward to the regular updates to your new BLOG site!!

  6. Hey, Taliemom.
    Never a dull moment with you, eh? Sounds like many wonderful adventures are planned… yea for you! Smell some flowers for me — ours are all gone til spring.

  7. Talie!
    Thank you that we can take part on your life.
    We see the cold at the Antarctica keeps you fresh.

  8. Hi Talie…thanks…I’d love to see your new van!Keep your adventures coming..I love it!
    take care…R

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