We’re gonna need a bigger boat

The satrugi are growing!

Forecast was for little or no wind and after an 11 hour nap my entire face and tent was iced up thickly – I must have needed it!!!

The tent was not moving but when I stuck my head out there was a whiff of a breeze . I ate, made water then packed the sleds. I had my doubts there was enough breeze to get the big kite up and with the added weight of 75m lines attached, it would launch then fall out of the sky. With frustration I removed the 25 m extensions I’d put on yesterday and tried to keep my hands out of my mitts as little as possible. I’ve really got to look after them as a precious asset – they can’t afford to get frost injury.

Even with the lines removed the kite could not fly, so I got out of my skis disconnected from the sled and ran backwards. This got the “big girl” off the deck and she sprang to life. I relished the step-in Salomon Shift bindings (thanks Rhythm Snowsports!) as they where so easy to click-in to, compared to the Dynafit I used on my last expedition, which would have had me in tears on a day like today ! I attached the sleds and was off…

My travel direction was dead down-wind again, hour after hour crashing over the sastrugi lines I found today my biggest challenge was corralling my mind. Slow-kiting is intensely boring, my environment is just white, no colour, no smell, no sound. The kite flying and skiing becomes automatic so it’s almost as if you are in a white universe just trapped alone, with your mind. It was like taking a tour of all the deep corridors of my complicated brain today. By the end of the day, my feet started aching in my boots from the cold, a helpful warning sign that it was time to pull-up-stumps for the day.

I was more exhausted mentally than physically today. Glad to turn the mind to tasks like tent setting, film, food and at last bed!!! 77 km today not bad for “no wind!!!”