As we near the end of August - and the end of our stay at our winter camp here on the Antarctic plateau - excitement begins to grow in us all.
The sun made its triumphant return on 3 August and as we gain nearly 13 minutes a day, we are blessed with over six hours of sun already. Although the spring storms have prevented a clear view of the sun most days, it is just nice to know it has returned. Slowly it starts to show its might as it begins to chase away winter's brutal chill. We have already seen temperatures as high as -20 degrees to the mid -30's. However, our average temperature is still closer to -45 degrees Celsius, but after months spent at -55, the change has been well received.
Team morale has lifted with the rising of the sun but now we begin to suffer from anxious excitement to begin our journey north. 130kms of Antarctic ice stretch out between our destination and us. A few more days spent patiently waiting for a few more degrees of warmth will see us commence our task of digging ourselves out of hibernation. Three months of accumulating snowdrift has nearly buried us out of sight. After a few days of digging, the Cat® D6Ns will be ready to start for the first time since our arrival at our winter home.
Seeker and Rover have proven to be extremely resilient to the harsh conditions we are faced with here in Antarctica. The cold weather modifications developed and installed by the team at Finning in Cannock, have proven to be worth their weight in gold. I do not anticipate any complications with our start up procedures. Diligent warm up and inspection of each machine will ensure us a safe and steady trip home.
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