I made it, but have not yet landed.

April 4, 2022 • 6:07 pm

After hours of waiting in the heat and long airport lines, presenting lots of documents (including my negative PCR covid test), I have passed all barriers and am at the gate in Santiago, headed for Houston and then Chicago.

Interesting note: a Canadian guy who was with the expedition team is on the same flight, and has an hour layover or so between arriving in Houston and flying on to Toronto. His departure gate is two gates from his arrival gate. Nevertheless, the U.S. makes him take a covid test (Canada requires nothing).

If all goes well and the icebergs don’t sink, I’ll be home tomorrow afternoon. As always, it will be bittersweet. We have one pair of ducks on the pond: Dorothy and the obstreperous Putin, her drake, but Honey hasn’t been seen in over a week.

Oh, and nobody in the Chilean equivalent of TSA groped me. They were friendly and polite, unlike the authoritarians in America who gravitate to that job.



14 thoughts on “I made it, but have not yet landed.

  1. I hope your flight is safe and and as comfortable as can be expected. I’m also hoping that Honey will be around when you get over to the pond on your return. Coming home from trips is always such a drag and a slog. You were so good about sharing your trip with us, it does seem a little unfair that you’ve got to go through all the unpleasant parts alone.

    1. At the risk of a 2-minute penalty for over-commenting, ….it just hit me that Jerry is right. True, if an iceberg melts, it doesn’t raise the level of the water it was floating in. But if it somehow could be made to sink, it would then displace its volume not its weight and the creek level would rise.

  2. We have at least two mating pairs of mallards in and around the marshes that flank the storm-water outflow ponds behind our house, holding their own against the ubiquitous Canada geese. The red-wing blackbirds and the kildeers have been back for a few weeks now. And the raptor that has been hanging around our bird feeders for the past few years that we wondered if it was a Cooper’s hawk, has revealed herself to be a female harrier. An unmistakable male put in an appearance last week, first we’ve ever seen of one. Perhaps there will be little harriets soon. They do catch songbirds but we have seen her with mice.

    Hoping your spring is making progress, too.

    1. It sounds like you have a paradise for bird-watching. I will cross my fingers for you that the harriers have babies, and that you’ll get to see them raising the family. I love red-wing blackbirds. It sounds like a great time of year to be where you are.

      1. We are at the northern edge of the Carolinian vegetation zone where that edge meets the Niagara Escarpment in Southern Ontario. The surviving forests from here to Lake Erie (and into the U.S.) are primarily deciduous, with species like tulip and sassafras, unique for Canada. Most of our township was a swamp until drained for agriculture. Preserved remnants are called wetlands, sounds better. 🙂 So lots of ecological variety even as the suburb expands. Spring is nice here, yes.

  3. Looks like you may be on UA846. Will try to follow you on your way for a couple of hours with flight aware or flight radar 24. I know that you will be relieved to feel wheels up!

    1. Well it is just after midnight EDT and if I have his correct flight jerry is cruising quietly north 32000 ft above the Peruvian coast at 532mph with a planned early arrival in Houston TX just before dawn. Goodnight all.

  4. Your Canadian guy might need a US visa as well as a Covid test.

    When I flew from the Netherlands to Costa Rica, I had to have a US visa just for the airport to change planes. I had to go through immigration in and out of the US on the same airport. And my luggage had to through customs. Just changing international flights.

    1. Canadian citizens don’t need to visa to enter the United States as a tourist, and vice versa. Any foreigner, even a transiting international traveler, may be denied entry to any country if the border folks form the opinion that your presence would not be in the public interest.

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