Hello all…. thanks for giving your input. Atlas, I am from California. The central valley to be more specific, we are almost the center point on the map of CA. Mike, about being an alternate: I was told when I was hired that all dishwashers were being taken on as alternates because of the contract. They asked me if I could go down for winfly, but I feel so in the dark about what my actual status is. At this point I am just going to ride the tide and forget about whatever they’re trying to clear up. I really appreciate the feedback. I’m crossing my fingers that later in the summer I’ll be asking questions like what to bring! This is the only antarctica forum I could find with tons of helpful info.