07 Jan What Animal Is This : Day 47 Of SPEC
Today we got buzzed by the Basler BT-67 aircraft as it flew overhead to drop the Last Degree Team at 89° S.
This conversion from the older DC3 model to an updated system, is actually a remanufacturing process. The whole process takes roughly 6 months and requires 35,000 to 45,000 man hours to complete, depending on configuration The Basler BT-67 is a utility aircraft produced by Basler Turbo Conversions of Oshkosh, Wisconsin. It is a remanufactured and modified Douglas DC-3; the modifications designed to significantly extend the DC-3’s serviceable lifetime. The conversion includes fitting the airframe with new Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-67R turboprop engines, lengthening the fuselage, strengthening the airframe, upgrading the avionics, and making modifications to the wings’ leading edges and wing tips. This aircraft is a workhorse for Antarctica as it is one of very few aircraft that have the ability to attach skis.
Once the Last Degree Team arrive they will start skiing slowly, without us. We will meet up with them in a couple of days, weather and equipment permitting!!
Today we are approximately 15nm from 89°S. All feeling tired but spirits are high. The altitude is now starting to affect us and slowing our travel, thoughts and sleep more each day. In addition to the altitude, the sleds which didn’t feel so heavy a few weeks ago now drag at our every step.
As we get closer to the South Pole thoughts of home ring loud in our minds and hearts. It feels longer than 47 days on this expedition and almost 52 days in Antarctica so far. Lots of great experiences but we are struggling a little now with bumps, bruises and blisters. Every step is harder and there are mornings, I would just like to leave the sled behind…but it holds our world at the moment and we depend on everything it carries to survive.
We travel longer days but the miles are stagnant, we sleep longer hours but the time passes quickly. We are excited for the new faces and sounds… but conscious our habitual days will be changing…..