[This was shamelessly ripped off from Pablo’s posting. Thanks.]
There will NOT be any C-17s going between McMurdo and The Default World from Dec. 1 to Jan. 21, which means no fresh food other than from the greenhouses and no package mail for seven weeks. That “no package time” includes Christmas and my birthday. It sounds as if flat mail might make it.
Yes, you can mail stuff to me (or anyone else, for that matter) at the South Pole.
Address mail to:
Barry Hayes [or whomever]South Pole Station, PSC
468Box 400, APO AP 96598
Mail comes down on the C-17s, wedged between science cargo and vital supplies. As a result
- Small is beautiful. Personal mail has lowest priority on the planes, and is stuffed in whenever it can fit. Multiple small things get through much better than one big thing, and those little Tyvek baggies have the best chance of making it through quickly.
- Send stuff early. There’s generally a big delivery push at Thanksgiving, and another just before Christmas. But sometimes nothing comes for a month.
- Avoid stupidness in packing. Air New Zealand will freak out if goopy, sticky packages come their way. Mail is mostly shipped as DNF (do not freeze), but will first sit unrefrigerated on tarmac at CHCH and bake for a few days, then freeze on the unheated trip from the storage to the plane. Things that can go moldy (cookies?) are not recommended. Beth says fruitcake seems to survive just fine
- Prohibited stuff: polystyrene packaging, anything that’s alive (plants, seeds), hazardous and toxic substances
- Discouraged stuff: aerosols, disposable batteries, non-reusable plastic containers, magazines and catalogs – stuff that will have to be hauled back out of Antarctica as trash
- Packages have customs forms.
Some more information (but not tons) on mailing stuff can be found in the USAP Participant Guide
Important date: My birthday is January 15th.