Bradford-born Ann Daniels has revealed how she and a team battling to reach the North Pole were stranded on a sea of floating ice for almost a fortnight – with food rations running out.
The 44-year-old mother of four, who grew up in Allerton, is 67 days and 404 kilometres into the expedition to help scientists find how fast the ice caps are melting.
The Catlin Arctic Survey Ice Team of Ann, and fellow explorers Pen Hadow and Martin Hartley, were yesterday heading north again following an 11-day wait on an ice landing strip in the Arctic Ocean.
They had been forced to sit tight – surviving on rapidly-diminishing supplies of 90 grams of food a day – after a supply plane was grounded time and time again because of treacherous weather conditions and technical problems.
As a last resort, organisers had planned to drop food to the waiting explorers but the pilot managed to land the plane on the landing strip on Monday.
And, after building up their energy levels, the expedition was back on track yesterday.
Speaking by satellite phone, navigator Ann said: “I can’t tell you how happy we are that the plane landed, rather than just did an air-drop of food.
“It meant we had some human contact, were able to receive messages from home and handover everything we needed to return to our support team. And we’ve been able to have a feast to get our energy levels up.
“Our spirits are restored. Now we just need our bodies to catch up.”
Chip Cunliffe, head of operations at the team’s UK headquarters said: “It is fair to say we have been dogged by the weather for some time. With this frustrating us and a technical problem with one plane it’s a relief to get them moving again.”