Clock-watching (Log #36)

L O U ' S   D I A R Y  

Day 37 in Antarctica. Another clear weather day with good visibility and light winds. Lou has a hard day with 11 hours of monotonous clock-watching, feeling slightly lethargic and lacking energy after 37 days without proper rest. He's delighted to find at the end of the day that he's made 14 nautical miles...   


Dec 9 2018 - 

Good evening everyone…

Reporting in now on day 37 of the expedition. Weather was pretty good today – good visibility and light winds. But a hard day for me today. The 11 hours was a long, hard slog of clock-watching; looking to see if an hour had gone by, and 20 minutes had gone by. I felt quite lethargic and like I was struggling. I don’t know if it was the surface conditions maybe, made the pulk particularly heavy, or maybe just a bit of lack of energy today. I guess going 37 days straight – without a proper rest day – is starting to take it’s toll.

Hopefully it’s just a short-term blip and I’ll start to recover and be back on form. I thought it’d been slow all day but I still managed to do over 14 nautical miles somehow. I was pretty amazed when I saw the mileage, I thought it was going to be a lot less than that, so that’s a plus. And the other big positive is that I did cross 89 degrees South today. So I’m inside the last degree, which is a great morale-booster… 6 miles into 89. If I can maintain this sort of mileage, I could reach the South Pole in four days’ time, which would absolutely fantastic. Really looking forward to that. We’ll see how we go.

Lou Rudd Shackleton

I thought I’d do a shout out. When I was struggling a bit today, I reminded myself why I was here, why I’m doing this. One of the main reasons is to supporting a charity I’m a great fan of - ABF The Soldiers’ Charity. An amazing organisation. All the team there; Martin, certainly the Chief of Staff, Robin Bacon, a retired Brigadier. I’ve had a lot of dealings with him certainly on SPEAR, and the regional director Richard Hackett as well. It’s an amazing organisation, it’s the Army’s national charity and the work they do is incredible. I first got involved with them during the SPEAR17 expedition, where we managed to raise £50,000 for them, which is fantastic. And this year, they made me an ambassador for the charity, which is a real privilege and honour, and I’m really enjoying working with them. It’s great to be working with them again and fundraising for them again as part of this expedition. It’s really good to remind myself that there are people out there a lot less fortunate than myself. My day of suffering today is only temporary. That helps keep things in perspective. I really look forward, when I retire from the Army, getting a lot more involved with The Soldiers’ Charity, that’ll be fantastic. 

That’s all from me for tonight. I need an early night, and hopefully come out fighting tomorrow. I’ll say goodnight.