L O U ' S D I A R Y
Day 34 in Antarctica. That's 34 days without rest and still Lou is pushing on. Today was a routine day. Clear weather, less sastrugi and good visibility for most of the day. Lou makes 14 nautical miles in 11 hours. He also explains why he chose to call his expedition the Spirit of Endurance and gives a shout-out to a certain British-made clothing company...
Dec 6 2018 -
Good evening everyone…
Reporting in now from day 34 of the expedition. I can’t believe I’ve gone 34 days without taking a rest day, but somehow I’m managing to keep going. Fairly routine day today, the weather was pretty decent, good visibility for most of the day – the sastrugi definitely calming down now I’m up on the Polar plateau. I managed to chug out 14 nautical miles for my 11 hours, so quite happy with that.
I thought I’d take the opportunity, for those not aware, to talk about the name of the expedition – Spirit of Endurance – and why I’ve called it that. Really, it’s a hark back, in history, to Sir Ernest Shackleton, which I’m sure is a name which is familiar to all of you. I’m a huge Shackleton fan and admirer of what he achieved in his lifetime in the Polar regions.
The Endurance piece harks back to his ship, the Endurance, he actually came down here, well over 100 hundred years ago now, to attempt the first-ever traverse. Very similar to what I’m doing now. He had a much larger plan, to get dropped on one side, and another team on another ship, the Aurora, was going to lay caches, and attempt the first-ever crossing of Antarctica. Sadly his ship, the Endurance, got trapped in sea ice before it even reached Antarctica. Over the course of several weeks it eventually got completely crushed and the rest is history. It was an epic survival story – testament to his leadership and skills.
Over the course of quite a long period of time they had to make their way across the sea ice, and to Elephant Island, and eventually he made it all the way back to South Georgia and arranged a rescue. All of them survived it, which is absolutely incredible. And that’s why it’s the spirit of endurance, of that first-ever attempt all those years ago, to come down and traverse the continent.
Then really, the icing on the cake for me, when I was seeking sponsors and backers for this expedition, was that I’d hooked up with the Shackleton Company, who make an awesome range of clothing, including replica stuff from that early Shackleton expedition. And now branching out into more technical and proper expedition clothing. Indeed, I’m using some of their new line of clothing on this expedition, and it’s performing fantastically. Really, it’s the perfect partnership, working with the Shackleton Company. It’s a brilliant organisation, working with some fantastic people there. My wife and daughter were in London last weekend, and went to Harvey Nicks store in Knightsbridge. They’ve actually got in there a display of their clothing, and a load of stuff on the expedition. One of my pulks is in there too, they’ve got an awesome display, which I would definitely recommend you go and see. And then you get the opportunity to see some of the kit they offer.
Amazing they’re doing a sweepstake as well of when I will arrive at the Pole, and offering up one of their superb jackets as the prize for whoever gets closest. I want to big them up and say they’ve been absolutely fantastic expedition partners and am really enjoying working with them. Hats off to them, they’ve definitely gone above and beyond.
That’s all for tonight.