Civilisation (Log #37)

L O U ' S   D I A R Y  

Day 38 in Antarctica. Last night Lou heard one of ALE's aircrafts rumbling as it passed overhead - his first taste of civilisation in a long while. He wakes up to good visibility and pushes on through strong side on winds. After chipping through the start of his 14.6 nautical mile day he spots a dark shape on the horizon, drawing closer...


Dec 10 2018 -

Good evening everyone… 

Reporting in now on day 38 of the expedition. Quite an eventful day, and evening as well! Last night, about 11 o’clock-ish, I got buzzed by one of ALE’s aircraft, I think it was the Basler, on the way to Pole. Literally I was in my sleeping bag and just nodding off, I heard this faint rumble in the distance. It came right over the top of the tent. That was quite nice, to hear a bit of civilisation.

I woke up this morning, again reasonably good visibility. Quite a strong wind, but it was side on, so that wasn’t too bad. I ploughed on. I’d being going for about an hour and a half, and I spotted a dark shape on the horizon. You see a lot of things on the horizon. Generally it’s sastrugi with sunlight and shadow. You think it’s something and invariably it isn’t. I saw this black blob. I kept my eye on it. It was right on my bearing that I was heading towards. A couple of times I saw some glints coming off it, some sort of flashing, and realised it probably wasn’t sastrugi.

As time went on I realised it was actually moving. As I got closer I realised it was actually a vehicle. The sunlight was glinting off the cab. It was one of ALEs big custom lorries, big tracked vehicles. It was towing three huge sledges. One had a portacabin on it. The others had equipment and fuel drums. After half an hour we closed up and they pulled up. I skied over, and I met my first human beings, Oh my God, people, in God knows how many weeks. One of the Kiwis, I think it was Eddie, who was driving. He hopped out. And Josh, from travel safety, who I know as well, was in the back, and he came out as well. We had a quick 10-15 minute chat. I got them taking photos.

It was a great opportunity to get some photos done. And then we said our farewells. They’re on a six-day traverse back to Union Glacier. Great to interact with some other human beings after so long. It was quite surreal. Quite sad watching them drive off, and all of a sudden I was on my own again.

Snow Clearer Antarctica

But hey, I’m three days out from Pole. It’s looking good, I can get to Pole in three days, and a much better day today. I felt a lot of energy. It was quite effortless to get in my 14.6 nautical miles.

I just want to finish off today with a big shout out to my daughter Amy, who tomorrow heads off to start her career in the Royal Air Force. She’s driving down to start her 10 weeks’ basic training, so really proud of what she’s doing. Amazing that she’s chosen a career in our Armed Forces serving our country. Couldn’t be any prouder and really looking forward to attending her passing out parade later this year. Which’ll be incredible. Best of luck Amy. I’ll be thinking about you.

That’s all from me.