L O U ' S D I A R Y
Day 50 in Antarctica. Rough going today, Lou struggles on through bad visibility, strong winds and low temperatures with around -30 wind chill. Lou catches breaks through lulls in the wind as he starts to come down off the Polar plateau. Lou's mind turns to food as he rolls up his fifth ten-day food bag, having achieved 21.3 nautical miles...
Dec 22 2018 -
Good evening everyone...
Reporting in now on day 50 of the expedition. The day started out with very similar conditions to the last three days, which have been pretty rough going. Very strong winds, super-low temperatures, well into the -30s with the wind chill and it was really bad visibility when I first set off today – sort of bordering whiteout – so again the compass was out. A difficult start to the day, but gradually as the day went on, things started to improve. The sun started to come through, visibility picked up, and I kept getting lulls in the wind. They got more and more frequent, and it has started to calm down now.
By the time I got to the end of the day, the last couple of hours of the day, things had really improved. The sun was out fully, wind had dropped down to about 20mph, and it’s still about that now, while I’m here in the tent. It definitely got milder as well. In the last hour it warmed right up. Down into the -20s now is my guess. A lot more comfortable putting the tent up. A much more pleasant experience tonight as well. Hopefully things will improve, cause I’ve had a pretty rough four days of being out in those sorts of conditions.
I’ve dropped in altitude as well. I’m definitely descending now, I’m at 8 and a half thousand feet, so I’ve come down 500ft today. I didn’t really notice it – quite subtle – but great psychologically – the fact that I’m starting to come down off the Polar plateau – is really good. And being day 50, I’ve rolled up my fifth ten-day food bag. Which is absolutely fantastic. While I’m on the topic of food, it is dominating my thoughts quite a lot at the moment. Thinking a lot about fresh food, after 50 days without having fresh food at all, a bit of bread and all those kind of things that I’m really missing. A lot of food cravings and really looking forward to my first meal when I get this journey done. Food-wise, I’m eating something like 6,000 calories a day, which is broken down into my breakfast – which is a porridge-based freeze-dried meal – my grazing bag, which I’m nibbling on all through the day; 100g of cheese, 100g of salami, a few hundred grammes of nuts and raisins and stuff. And then in the evening then I have a protein recovery drink, and another freeze-dried main meal. That makes up my 6,000 calories per day. But it’s getting repetitive, after 50 days, so I spend a lot of time thinking about food.
I’d better dash – I have a bit of sewing to do tonight, it’s just wear and tear on the clothing, gloves and hat. So needle and thread out tonight. I’ll be doing some patching repairs to keep this show on the road.
All good and I managed 21.3 nautical miles, so quite happy with that considering the tricky conditions.
That’s all from me tonight.