The strange wobbly sun-dance.
The sun is constant, the only reason I know it’s past midnight is when the sun hovers on the right hand side of the tent. It does a weird southern circular jig each day.
The sun was on the right and the tent was perishingly cold. Icicles coated the inside of the tent and any movement invited a shower of what felt like freezing sparks. With dread, I climbed out of the sleeping bag and was immediately assaulted by falling shards of ice on my face, neck and back. Hands immediately screaming for my mitts, I threw the sleeping bags outside to dry and got the stove going.
My fuel consumption has been too high lately, but as I acclimatise and my skin gets thicker to the cold, my fuel consumption should regulate again. The whole essence of unsupported, solo polar travel is about resource management. You need to push, but not so hard that you can’t fight tomorrow; carry enough calories to stay strong, but not so much that the sled won’t move; have enough fuel to warm, cook, melt ice for water – but if you overdo it, your sled won’t move either.
Every day a million calculations…
I am aware that today is usually my toughest day mentally – remaining vigilant to this potential has helped. It has also helped that the ice conditions were so rough, that all day my body got battered and I had to concentrate hard on the task at hand. With little time to think of home I got through 95km of ice (that felt more like 200 km) and set camp.
Once in my warm sleeping bags (thanks Wild Earth! ) I allowed my mind to drift to home.
I meditated on the faces of all my darling family and friends, who bravely support all my mad ideas with fierce love and loyalty, deepening my resolve to conquer this icy challenge before me! How blessed we are to have each other.
Ps. I hope you’re liking my ice-selfies. Tricky to do much else when you’re flying solo haha.