Day 18: More bad news on Union Glacier

Plane problems are forcing the team to stay in Antarctica longer than expected as rations diminish

The Russian specialist engineer is not due to Punta until Saturday. Apparently he has to be really small so he can fit in the engine – I kid you not – to repair the part. So even if the situation is perfect and he repairs the plane Saturday, they test it, and if the weather holds the soonest we can get in will be Sunday. But in truth, no one is expecting it to go that smoothly.

To entertain ourselves, we put our cross-country skis back together. Dale and I went for a 15-kilometre ski out to something known as the U.S. Cache – detritus from a prior camp. Diego worked on his tan. Michel created an igloo.

The highlight of the day was a five-minute shower. You take really hot water, a great big pail, a hose and a small pump and can provide a very quick shower. BEST EVER!!!!! Clean body, clean hair, refreshed viewpoint.

Diego has been working his charm and his multiple “ins” among the workers. We found out that tomorrow is the last of the eggs and tonight was the last of the Diet Coke. Being the gentleman that he is, Diego gave me half of his. Although certain food types are diminishing, there are apparently vast stores at Union Glacier so at this stage it is not something they’re going to worry about.

We’re working on getting medication for Dale from Punta and that part of the plan is going well. Given that, we now have Plan A, which is if the Ilyushin is repaired; Plan B to bring the medications in by the Chilean air force; Plan C is the DC3 takes Dale out; and Plan D is to adjust some of his medications differently. I’m feeling a lot better about that knowing that there are alternatives.

Everyone’s maintaining their spirits as best as possible. We really want to come home.

Dr. Heather Ross is travelling to the South Pole to raise awareness for heart disease.

Follow her Journey to the Bottom of the Earth exclusively on Yahoo! Canada.

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About Dr. Ross

One of Toronto’s top cardiologists is heading to the South Pole, and Yahoo Canada News is following every step of the voyage.

Dr. Heather Ross, Director of the Heart Failure Program at the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre and the Medical Director of the Cardiac Transplant Program, is venturing to the pole to raise awareness for heart failure research, cardiac transplantation and heart health.

Follow along starting Jan. 1 as Dr. Ross blogs her journey to the bottom of the Earth.

Find out more


Got a question for Dr. Heather Ross while she's on her South Pole journey? Send her a question by clicking above or emailing and she'll reply in a future blog post!