I really am not entirely sure what day am on! I think day 17 of the expedition. There again it might be 18 Time is blurring and, with there being no “night”, all the days just merge together.
On this subject of time. It really is what we make it to be here in Antarctica. I decided on my rest day yesterday to go to bed early and get up at 6am instead of at 8am. In terms of light, there’s hardly any difference. It all seems the same (the sun will just be just a little lower in the sky). The main reason is that my call with ALE is always at 8pm. I prefer to be in the tent when I call them rather than exposed and in the open. I would be cooling down way to quickly!
Another record distance on the skis. Once I do get out of my sleeping bag, I generally take around two hours (or longer if windy or if am feeling particularly lazy) to have breakfast and get everything packed and into the sled. In a normal 8hr ski day, leaving at 10.30 would just about give me enough time to ski, setup my tent and call in, but if I wanted to extend to say 9 hours of skiing, then it’s pushing it a bit. Today, leaving at 8.30am and I was able to ski for nine hours with no worries, and now go to bed nice and early. Why stay up late..?!
And it was a good nine hours. It was a complete whiteout for seven of them. So again it was just skiing through a white void. Have you seen The Matrix? It’s like the construct for the matrix, when Neo says “guns… lots of guns”! Only definitely no guns. Or anything else of note really. Aside from sastrugi that seems to take pleasure out of tripping people up and slowing them down! But then again, while it’s nice seeing where am going on cloudless days, and being able to avoid those sastrugi traps… now there’s nothing to see in any direction anyway so am not really missing much!
But yes, it was a good nine hours: it was my longest day in terms of time travelled and despite the neck issues, I felt pretty good. Also, managed to get my best distance in: 21.25km, so very happy with that! There’s still a lot of weight (food!) in the sled that will be eaten away slowly but surely. So managing this distance and travel time now gives me cause for hope. Lots of doubts have come into my mind over the last couple of weeks since the neck pain started, but I might just manage this. Onwards and southwards!
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Visit Ben’s blog site to hear Ben’s audio diary from his overnight camp. https://polarweber.com/
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