SPEC Last Degree Team Day 8


From Keith Sauls

Failed Coups and Successful Takeovers;

We awoke to a full scale rebellion by three of four stoves refusing to boil water. Ultimately the stoves list, and tents went down for a (near) on time departure.

A more friendly takeover was wildly successful when David, our Shell Biofuel teammate took over to lead “Pulls” three and six from Johanna and Devon, and contributed to a net 8.4 nautical (6,000 ft.) miles and approximately 10.5 statute miles (5280 ft.) with a bit (but very little) navigational “wiggle.”

Today was a great reminder of the importance of systems – which we talk about a lot here; and the critical need to have back-up systems.

Update from the Ice

Today, January 9, we woke up at 7:00 AM and were treated to our first dehydrated breakfast of the trip.  Hot water was passed around and we poured it into our packets of mystery breakfast.  Quite a change from the delicious meals Devon and Johanna have cooked for us so far, but no complaining here.  It was warm and filling and we were ready for the day.

We planned for tents down at 10:00 AM, but a small storm delayed us.  We were on skis by 11:15 AM.  It was a beautiful, sunny day with not too much wind.  But it was very cold – the opposite of the previous day.  Despite the cold, we moved 8.4 nautical miles (9.6 miles).  It was a grueling day…the sled felt heavier, which could be attributed to the long day on skis or the consistency of the snow.  Or, as Rob calls it, sand.

On a bright note, Ghazala’s feet seem to be improving.  She changed boots and she seems better.  Her issues aren’t totally resolved, but she is definitely better.

If you don’t believe how cold it was, check out this picture of me at the end of our day.  Look closely, you will see lots of ice on my face mask. The pole is getting closer…the journey continues.’


  • Graeme Joy
    Posted at 06:51h, 10 January Reply

    Keep it up team, great effort. Yes Rob, sand, just like towing the tyre along the dry sand of Bondi in training, without the warm swim in the surf at the end, plus the beer of course.

  • John Sprague
    Posted at 00:01h, 11 January Reply

    Congrats on getting this far and good luck on your last day! Shout out to Ghazala from 12.9 at Tanglin Trust School on a rainy Thursday morning.

  • Traci Bunch
    Posted at 13:39h, 11 January Reply

    We’ve loved following this journey! Keep the updates and pictures coming – we’re sharing them with all our family and friends as we cheer on David Bunch, Robert Swan, and the entire SPEC team.
    With love and best wishes for a strong (and safe) finish,
    Traci, Joseph, Samuel, and Theo Bunch

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