Day 64–Crawling There

January 7, 2012 7:22pm

January 7, 2012

S89°16.623 E007°14.488

Elevation 9128 feet

Given Marc’s forecast model for the next twenty four hours, we were surprised to find wind gusts hitting the side of the tent from the north when we woke up around midday. We have been turning the clock somewhat, and traveling partly at night. From a light or warmth perspective, this make absolutely no difference where we are now. The sun essentially rotates around the horizon for the twenty four hours of the day, at just about the same angle. Besides, we have been operating on UTC time (Greenwich Standard Time) and in a couple of days, we will be reporting with our new logistics team, ALE, who operate on UTC-3. In that respect, we also have to adjust to their time zone, and rotate our body clock. At the Pole, of course, which we are very close to, you can pick whichever time zone you choose to be on: they all meet there!

The night had started very warm in the tent, but early in the morning, the sun was replaced with cloud cover, and temperatures inside fell drastically. I scrambled for some clothing, but in my half sleep, failed to plan effectively. I slept cold, and woke up cold. My sleeping bag, sitting somewhere on the ice between here and the POI, was never more sorely missed.

Winds were light when we decided to leave, and dropped even further shortly into our day. The Pole is obviously playing hard to get. We are virtually crawling there. It doesn’t help that our tack is straight downwind; this forces us to swerve right and left to keep tension in the kite and the actual distance we travel is a least twice what it shows. It is tedious. The sun was at the losing end of a struggle with the clouds, first parching its light across the wide open surface. This, again, is very reminiscent of Greenland; it creates a layered depth that adds a new dimension to the ice. The beauty here is grand and sparse, but light can literally paint details into it. Soon, however, the sun disappeared altogether, leaving a flat light rob most details from the ground. Thankfully, the terrain remains unbelievably flat, and the snow relatively soft: no sastrugi anywhere, which has been a highlight. We were reunited with the tracks we saw yesterday: clearly, they were headed where we’re going! The five ski tracks perfectly aligned makes it look like a road; it eases navigation in the flat light. The weak gusts have moved us slowly towards the Pole, but not close enough to claim it quite yet. We barely closed 31 kilometers today, which puts us within striking distance, at around 80 kilometers or so. Very close, but still no cigar. Perhaps tomorrow, if the winds play nice. Meanwhile, the lack of sun will make for another chilled night in the tent. I am wrapped in as much clothing as I have with me; I will drape Eric’s jacket over my legs, clench my teeth, and dream of warm sun rays and a sandy beach. Soon come.

10 Responses to “Day 64–Crawling There”

  1. Could your sled be used as a cover? Sending warm thoughts your way.

  2. Penelope Casadesus says:

    I’m worried about you not having a sleeping bag, and probably more important, if possible, your First Aid kit.
    Remember coming back in sound health is more important than finishing the trip – however much it would be disappointing. I’m thinking of you every day. Your Dad told me to send his love and concern,
    All my love – Mummy xxx

  3. Sylke says:

    I agree your Mum. You are a fighter but your health is more important than everything else.Take care of you and good winds. You are in my thoughts.

  4. Fredi says:

    I’m sending you all the strength I can muster and thoughts of wind carrying you to your destination.
    With much love|support|pride
    Super Pet xx

  5. Hang in there. We need you back at home. Good luck with the final leg.


  6. shawn gold says:

    yo brother. watching you with my son jackson, who is fascinated with your trip. be safe, see you in France in July

  7. Stephan says:

    Hey Sebastian, so sorry to hear you not sleeping well from cold. Any help to wrap a kite around you?
    You continue to sound spiritual about your trek when clearly you are leading the life of a warrior.Very graceful job my friend.
    When you stand on the southern pivot will the compass spin?
    Best wishes

  8. Tmac says:

    bring it…………a champion always, but like your mum says…… first..fully in support, hang tight my brother/, you will get there on time T

  9. BASILE says:

    I wish for a sunny windy day,,,, I thought: haven’t you a tarpaulin for you rolling in? Or could you use a kite as a blanket? I agree with everyone: take care of your health because you have to reach a great goal!
    All the best Sebastian and Eric

Leave a Reply