Day 33 – False Alarm
Lat S86deg 31.540’
Long W81deg 51.467’
Daily distance 12.04nm
Opened the tent to another sun dog this morning but it
soon clouded over completely and the day panned out pretty much the same again.
Only difference was a reasonable easterly wind blowing across me from left to
right. Despite the full head cover my left ear got very cold so a lot of the
time my hood was up on that side. The fur ruff is so effective but having the
hood up all the time just gets too hot unless the temperature and wind justify
it. Today’s minus 30 deg c windchill partially did.
I didn’t put my fishnets on today and glad of it too. As the day progressed the sun came out and again like yesterday made it quite warm once the wind eased. Only issue I had was at tent pitching time when my hands got very cold. Must be swapping the mitts for gloves but once up there’s time to rewarm them.
The false alarm relates to the sastrugi. When I came to a close yesterday the terrain seemed to change and become more undulating. Very soon after heading off today it returned to being flat again and remained that way until the final session of the day. Again the terrain became more undulating and there was a significant amount of duning so now I think it’s the start of the section where the duning and sastrugi become quite a problem. This is expected so won’t come as a surprise it’s just that I don’t know how bad it is having never experienced it here. I’ve heard horror stories but word is that it isn’t too bad this year. Only one way to find out! It lasts up until the early part of 88 degrees so lots to get through, roughly 80 or 90 nautical miles but at varying difficulties.
Having felt tired at the end of yesterday plus being very stiff, I had a good stretch last night (as much as you can do in a tent!). What a difference I felt today. Felt strong all day but obviously a little bit tired towards the end so same again this evening.
Had a little distraction today. Mid afternoon there was the hum of a small aircraft going over. Heading towards the pole so maybe picking up or dropping some last degree trips. I waved but probably too far away even though I’d stick out like a sore thumb. Won’t be too long before I’m flying the other way but there’s a lot of miles to get through before that!
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