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January 20, 2010 at 6:08 pm #1242IdanMember
Just a curious wonder from someone with no Ice time…
I read about how strict NZ customs is about dirt on hiking boots, etc. when flying to the Ice. I’ve also read that towards the end of the summer, mud is quite ubiquitous around Mactown. Surely this mud will find its way onto clothes, and definitely onto shoes and boots. How is this handled by NZ customs when one is leaving the Ice? Do you scrub your boots and shoes before you pack them? You’d still have to walk through town to get to the shuttle to the plane (unless you’re of the female persuasion, in which case I imagine one could be carried to the shuttle), which would surely cause your shoes/boots to get mud on them.
It reminds me of a similar dilemma I had as a kid. At the end of a day at the beach, we would go to the feet-washing station which was a pad of concrete with a faucet & drain – still on the beach. Putting on flip-flops for this walk would only add another element that would need to be cleaned, so I didn’t wear them. I walked barefoot across the scorching sand, only to wash my feet and step off the concrete, with wet feet, BACK ONTO the scorching sand. The end result of this Abbott-and-Costello-esqe fight with the sand is that no matter what I did, sand and mud would get into the car with me. Just recalling this is making me laugh at the sheer silliness of the situation.
So anyways, what about that Mactown mud?January 21, 2010 at 2:00 pm #1029412tripssouthMember
Most of the “dirt” in McMurdo is high in basalt. Mt. Erebus is a volcano after all.
It’s dry in most places, and if you do get muddy, you just wash it in the dorms or throw it in the skua bin.
I don’t know that it’s ever been and issue going out from Antarctica, but coming in from the US, yes.January 21, 2010 at 4:28 pm #10295MightyAtlasModerator
McMurdo Mud is a bit of a misnomer. The muddiest time of the year is during the ‘big thaw,’ typically in November/December, when the snows melt, and small rivers flow through town. Yes, you get it on your boots, and clothes, but once it dries, you brush it off, and you’re good to go. It’s not the mud that’s made from water and arable soil.
When you leave MacTown you pack-up everything the day before, and give it to the folks at ATO, during Bag Drag. You’ll then be stuck wearing your Bunny Boots, or tennis shoes (if you were smart, and kept them with you). Brush off your boots, put them in a plastic bag, and pack them in your checked baggage. NZ Customs will determine whether or not they need to inspect them. They know the soil on the ice is non-arable.
aJanuary 21, 2010 at 4:29 pm #10296MightyAtlasModerator
Oh, and during most of December/January, the worst thing about being in McMurdo is the DUST! Terrible for people with contacts.
Seriously.January 21, 2010 at 4:37 pm #10297IdanMember
Thanks! That makes a lot of sense.
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