Day 57–Happy New Year Everybody

December 31, 2011 10:00pm

December 31, 2011

S84°08.345 E055°00.244

Elevation 11455 feet

No winds manifested in the night, and none during the day. After dragging the decision for as long as we could, we agreed to strap some skis on and give pulling a try. This was mostly academic at this stage, since in the time we have left before running out of fuel, the distance we could cover hauling would remain negligible. As it turns out, we need winds even more badly than we thought. One hour and one and a half kilometer later, I was sucking on air and cursing like a sailor. Eric had lent me an iPod, since mine is on the fritz, and I can’t tell for sure what made me more irate: the lack of oxygen or the selection of music. But after one hour, the experiment had lost its appeal. The sledges are heavy still, and after two months out here, with the weight loss, physical depletion, and at this stage lack of hauling conditioning, the exercise felt like slave labor! Add to that the psychological head game of computing that on our worse kiting day, we can cover in six minutes what takes an hour of walking and sweating, and a heart rate going up the charts! At almost 3500 meters still, the heart needs to work harder to pump in oxygen. That makes this type of aerobic activity leave you panting like a dog in heat! I was reminded of the intense effort of my 2009, seven hundred kilometers North Pole pulling trip with Keith! No pressure ridges or open water here, but the sastrugi certainly tries hard to compete!

The bad news is that the three day forecast calls for dead calm, and with it a noticeable increase of our required daily average. If we succeed at this, it will be a very close call. Had we not lost the fuel, we would still be within reasonable margins. As it is, we have a maximum of thirteen days before we exhaust our ability to melt ice into water and cook a meal. But we are close…

I want to thank all of you who are following our travails on this New Year’s eve, and wish you the very best in health, love and work for 2012 and beyond.

Rather than sending a silly hat picture (we did that for Christmas!) I chose a shot of some sastrugi from right outside the tent. How can something so painful on the joints be so easy on the eye? Enjoy!

15 Responses to “Day 57–Happy New Year Everybody”

  1. Leila and Aidan says:

    Sending wishes for wind now more than ever on this New Years Eve. We are thinking of you and Eric every day.

  2. Harald Golbach says:

    Häppy Häppy New Year and all my best wishes ” into The cold”.
    May The Wind Comes back to you soon and remove all obstacles too.
    Sogyal Rinpoche send all his best wishes from Australia , Where he is holding a retreat with us
    which is streamed via Internet to Germany,france, ireland and The US.
    You’re in our Prayers and practiceday.
    Love harry

  3. Simone Hohnhorst says:

    Happy new year to you, too! I am keeping my fingers crossed for more wind for you guys! Thinking of you every day! Stay safe out there!

  4. Sylke says:

    Happy New Year from Germany – and think what you do not see with the heart, also remains to you with the eyes covertly in the new year. I wish you a lot of luck, health and love in the new year and I hope, you do not wish back to you the old one. Good winds for the next following days. Thinking of you and Eric every day!

  5. Faeriewing says:

    Happy New Years to you and Eric. Your conditions are dangerously beautiful. I am sending you my best wishes and know that you make it home safely. They say necessity is the mother of invention and I am sure that creative brain of yours will think of something if need be. (I wonder how long an i-pod burns.)

  6. Penelope Casadesus says:

    Happy New Year, Sebastian and Eric! So sorry to have missed your New Year’s call, Bast—I was thinking of you while I was sipping champagne next to a roaring fire and wishing you were here with us on the Ile de Re!
    You told me to pray for winds. I suggest that all your friends blow hard at one particular time of the day and hope that it reaches you!! (New Years’ madness!)
    All love from us all – you mother xxxx

  7. Stephan says:

    Hi Sebastian,
    surely this is a newyears eve you ll remember forever. It’s amazing to think of you down there at the bottom pivot of the planet, and that you’ve stood on the northern pivot as well. What an extraordinary earthling traveller you are.
    All the best from the Copes in Philly.

  8. To you as well, Sebastian and Eric … stay free, there are more Polar Psalms to come.

  9. Peter Alan Roberts says:

    It does look beautiful, wishing you well winds and fuel fairies.

  10. Katrin says:

    Happy New Years Sebastian & Eric — praying for a windy start to 2012 for you!!!! With you every step of the way x

  11. Tmac says:

    happy 2012 to both you rock stars, making history……..thanks always for sharing your story in such eloquent fashion, praying for good winds, warm thoughts with you always……….you got this !!!!!!!!! cannot wait for some 64 and a cup of tea with you bass, upon your return…………brother T

  12. ceila wise says:

    Happy Happy New Year to the heros in Antartica !!!!!! What an outragious bloody marvelous way to bring in 2012 !!!!!

    ……though about swinging by to surprise you with a new ipod, if only I could!

    Sooooooooo excited for you !

    Wishing those winds to whisk you to the South Pole and back safely.

    Much much LOVE x x

  13. What an incredible journey into 2012! Bravo to you both and all the best for the rest of your adventure and year ahead. Thinking of you always. If it makes you feel any better, it’s -21 in Canada today! Huge love xoxox

  14. Adam & Stacie says:

    HAPPY NEW YEAR, Sebastian! It’s a cold start to 2012 for you. What a Journey!

    Much love – A&S

  15. BASILE says:

    Again, I wish you both a happy new year 2012,,, wind, wind, wind!!! Perhaps Eric could dance again like last time; it worked! All the best for you Sebastian and Eric ♥

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