Everyone said to pack light, but I always pack light. Indeed, I found that I had packed too heavy, and packed the clothes I was going to wear today! So I had a bit of extra room, and splurged (weight wise) with an extra pair of socks and underwear. Final luggage: One soft carrier, which fits in the overhead compartment (the one I usually use and have no checked baggage), one hard case (probably 40 if not 50 years old, since I was carrying heavy and breakable things like sunglasses and battery chargers) and one messenger pouch.
Since I'm going to check one piece of baggage, I might as well check two, and carry the messenger pouch with iPod and tickets and camera. I got the pouch this weekend because the neck straps for both the large binocular case and camera case are not meant to be worn over a thick parka and rode up into my armpits. The pouch slings very low on the hip, and has room for both the binoculars and camera (though not very accessible) plus batteries, a drinking bottle, etc.
The last thing I did, just completed, was to go to the bank to get crisp new dollar bills and enter them in www.wheresgeorge.com and track far flung bills. Whee!
I have e-mail on the cruise ship. david romm (no space, one word) at msendeavour dot cc (sorry, don't want spam for a satellite connection).
Time to turn off the computer for three weeks. If all goes according to plan, I'll be back late 12/12, If all goes better than planned I may stay in Antarctica...