Day 71–Wrong Winds

January 14, 2012 7:00pm

January 14, 2012

S86°54.158 W091°48.895

Elevation 7058 feet

I was proud of some writing I had completed from the ice, for an upcoming article detailing this trip. Not only did it have immediacy and relevance, as I was communicating virtually in real time, but I took great pleasure in writing it. Nothing felt forced, and without the pressure of a deadline, I wrote when I felt I had something to write. It flowed; it was witty; and now it’s gone. Thanks to a glitch in Microsoft’s program, three thousand out of a four thousand word article went the way of the dodo when I attempted to back it up on a flash card. I was guttered, and frozen in disbelief. The document showed on the flash card, but with 0 byte of space, and in the process was deleted from the iPack’s hard drive. I spent the morning trying to reconstruct out of memory what could from my words. Another lesson in detachment…

Consequently, we were slow out of the tent. This had little consequence, in the end, as the North-easterly winds are not serving us well. We have drifted too far west as it is, and would be headed into the Thiels Mountain range which is coming up in less than two degrees. We tried, first with the Yakuza’s to beat upwind, but the pull on the kite was too great; we downsized to the 13 meters, but the wind dropped to a crawl; we then re-launched the Yakuza’s, only to find that again, the pull was too great to beat upwind. With that, we decided to set up the tent, and wait: either for more wind–to fly the 13’s upwind–or for the wind to shift direction. In the end, we both fell asleep! When we woke up, the wind had died altogether. The sun was out, and the air still. For some time now, we had not experienced a warmer day. Inside, it was baking. We both slept on top of our sleeping bags. And I resumed reconstructing my article…

This is an odd time in the expedition: it is becoming harder to motivate out of the tent. In a sense, it feels like the mission is almost completed, and the remainder of the trip is now academic. And yet, we still have just under 800 kilometers to cover, which is no chump change. We are basically a week away, but not there yet. Focus at this stage is as important as ever. We are close, but no cigar yet! The forecast calls for a south easterly starting tomorrow, which would serve us well if the prediction wasn’t so weak: five to ten knots for the next two days… We might just end up crawling there. We only managed 9.5 kilometers yesterday.

3 Responses to “Day 71–Wrong Winds”

  1. Penelope Casadesus says:

    A very frustrating day all around! Courage!! Not too long to go—
    At least you’re not freezing!
    All love – Mum xxx

  2. Adrian Fiebig says:

    Hi Sebastian.You should be proud of your writing !! it’s brilliant, inspiring and written with such intellect and modesty. Not sure what kind of flash card your using but they all have recovery software that you can download when you get back if you don’t re-write over it.
    Sending you windy Vibrations. Adrian 🙂
    Ps Loved the voice podcast ! You would defiantly had a job on BBC radio in WW2. !!

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