Sue sends greetings from the icy desert. She reports the crew of twelve is doing well. Occasional minor injuries, but all members are in good health, making her medical work easy. She is working hard assisting in aircraft projects and still has enough energy left over to ski each day.
Before leaving for the expedition, Sue purchased kite-skiing equipment and has been testing it out. Kite skiing has become popular around the world, especially in Antarctica where it has been used by some teams as a utility to reach more inaccessible areas. Others are using it just for fun and excitement. Also called snow kiting, one school in CO is now certified to teach the extreme sport.
Recently the weather has been in the teens to 20-30’s with 30 knot winds. The winds make snow skiing exciting but problematic keeping stoves burning and makes working outside miserable at times. In spite of the extremes, the team is making amazing progress on aircraft repairs. We are unable to obtain photos from their remote site. Sue will likely send us photos when she is in Cape Town en route back in January.
Currently the DC 3 – Turbo is out of its ice encasement and is positioned on airbags that will soon be used to lift and position the airplane when the landing gear and wheel-skis are attached. They are currently working on the second engine and have significant repairs remaining on the left wing.
Meals continue to be delicious and nourishing to supply the high energy expenditure needed working under the extreme conditions. They live in numerous tents and eat together in a mess hall tent. Sometimes keeping the tests warm is difficult because of the windy conditions and downdrafts putting out the stoves. Carbon monoxide poisoning is a concern and all tents are vented because of this potential problem. Sue shares a 10 x 24 ft tent with the young female electronics technician.
We will hear from Sue again in a week. She wishes everyone a Happy Holiday!
Betty (Note: Photo is a stock example of someone kite skiing.)