Thursday, May 15, 2008

Mailing addresses.

Okay, if you want to send me stuff, you have three options:

Small stuff: For flat mail and very small packages (under 2lbs, and pocket-sized, unless special arrangements are made in advance), they can be sent to the Denver headquarters, where they are then put in a big silver trunk and hand-carried down as luggage by whomever is headed down to Palmer that month. The mail should get to the Denver office at least a week or two in advance of the Gould leaving Punta Aranus, which happens generally at the end of every month.

It is possible that this mail can be delayed if there's no one going down with extra baggage room, or the trunk is full, or whatever. So don't send anything perishable or time-critical.

Big Stuff Quickly: Now, if you REALLY really want to, you can send me larger packages quickly, but it's at your own expense. You can ship stuff directly to the Raytheon office in Punta Aranus, and it'll go out on the next cruise down to Palmer (Again, once a month, somewhere between the 25th and 2nd). Again, this can be really expensive, and a pain in the ass in terms of customs.

Letters and packages would have to be sent via common carrier (Not USPS) directly to the husbanding agent (AGUNSA) in Punta Arenas, Chile.

Some notes on sending me stuff: Anything that comes to Antarctica, has to leave Antarctica. Our trash is packed into a couple of big shipping containers and carried out once a month on the Gould. The point is, don't send any silly or pointless kitchy stuff, or if something comes with a lot of packaging, get rid of the packaging and just send the item itself.

Antarctica is also a protected and isolated environment, which hasn't had much historical exposure to the outside world. Bacterium and things can wreck havoc on the ecosystem here, so make sure there's no dirt or plant material, bugs or things like that in whatever you send. And definitely no foods or anything perishable, as there can be very long delays. Personal mail and packages has the lowest priority in terms of cargo, so if space is tight on the ship, it gets left in PA until the next month.