L O U ' S D I A R Y
Day 24 in Antarctica. A day of poor visibility and monotony. Whiteout conditions return and the horizon empties. Lou spends his day with his compass, keeping a straight line and watching the tips of skis as he dips and rises over sastrugi. It's a day for music and audio books. But by the end of it the sun appears and Lou bolts on an extra hour, totalling 11 hours and a distance of 14 nautical miles...
Nov 26 2018 -
Good evening everyone…
Reporting in now from Day 24 of the expedition. I think the headline for today has got to be: Monotony. I woke up today to really poor visibility – virtually a whiteout today. Which again makes things that little bit more difficult. Most of the day I had nothing on the horizon at all to focus on, to keep a sense of direction. So again, it was staring at the compass that’s mounted on my chest. It was head down, keeping an eye on the compass, making sure I was skiing in a straight a line as possible. And to get any kind of perspective I was looking at the tips of my skis as they were going over the undulating ground and bits of sastrugi to get a sense of if I was going up, down, or tipping over – left, right. It was really difficult going.
Definitely a day for music and audio book to try and break the tedium. And then just chip away at it. But I did ok, I was quite pleased with my mileage. Right at the end of the day, probably the last hour, the conditions really improved and the sun came out and I got great visibility. I decided to go a bit longer just to make up the mileage because you’re always much slower in whiteout. So I bolted an extra hour on today. I did 11 hours today, and still managed to make over 14 nautical miles. I was quite pleased considering the conditions, with how far I got.
Shout out today to John Jones and his wife Yvonne as well. John is as nice an old boy as you could possibly ever meet. He works for me as a vehicle mechanic up at the Infantry Battle School in Brecon. In fact he’s got two jobs – he also runs a sheep farm in deepest, darkest Wales. So he’s a pretty busy boy. A really nice guy – always popped into my office, most days, in the build-up to the expedition, to see how I was getting on with the fundraising, and training. And really showed a huge interest in the expedition.
I know him and his wife are following it now. He even made the effort to drag himself out of Wales – which I know is quite difficult for John – and they came down to London for the expedition launch back in October. I was really pleased about that. His support has been absolutely brilliant. A huge shout out to you John. I keep thinking about that full English breakfast you made me the day before I departed. And my God, I could probably destroy ten of those now. I look forward to catching up when I get back from the expedition.
I’m hoping for better conditions tomorrow. I’m probably going to start building the days now and going longer and longer, really pushing the mileage to get to Pole in good time. Watch this space and see how we get on. That’s all for tonight.