Log Book

Day Fifteen — Epic Odyssey

  |   Epic Odyssey, Epic Odyssey Logbook

Today is payback for yesterday’s indulgence, with a 2,400-nautical mile marathon ahead of us. Nearly eight total flight hours, broken into three, two-and-a-half-hour legs, plus two fuel stops and a five-hour time change, totaling 15 hours elapsed time on the clock. The routing is Moscow (UUDD) to Ekaterinburg (USSS) to Novosibirsk (UNNT) to Irkutsk (UIII). S7 Airlines is providing their full support to ensure we progress as smoothly as possible. The goal – quick turns! Everyone retired early last night in preparation for the 4 a.m. wake up call, 5 a.m. bus to the airport, and 7 a.m. launch. Our first fuel stop – Yekaterinburg — goes smoothly with the S7 welcome crew, fuel trucks waiting, and a plated lunch served to us in a lovely VIP Center, complete with carved mahogany woodwork, red velvet curtains, plush privacy booths, crystal glassware, and chandeliers. Thirty minutes later, we are back in the air for leg number two en route to Novosibirsk, former headquarters for S7 Airlines. Again, we enjoy great support from S7, with quick fuel, catered food, before blasting off to our final destination, Irkutsk. Despite the concerted efforts of the extended teams, we fall behind schedule and prepare for our first night landing of the tour. The sunset is spectacular, enhanced by the smoky skies, followed by a perfectly full moon rising above the clouds to light our way east. We touch down around 11:45 p.m. and arrive at the hotel by 12:30 a.m. Thankfully, the bar is still open. After some well-earned snacks and refreshments, we head to bed for a very short sleep…