The Sun Has Got His Hat On

Day 41: S87° 36' 34", W051° 55' 30" Altitude: 2342m Daily distance: 15MI Distance to go: 548MI

The wind was going bananas as I tried to sleep last night, but the weather this morning was glorious. Blue sky, bright sunshine, the slightest of breezes from the ESE, and about -20° C. By Antarctic standards, a perfect summer’s day.

At midday a bank of cloud scudded over from the south but it was no match for the sun, which dispersed it in a way that reminded me of my disappointment as a child when a drop of soap or shampoo would make all the foam in my bubble bath disappear.

As you can see it was still chilly enough to get a decent nose icicle going in the morning, but the wind vanished completely at around 4pm, and I skied the last couple of hours in a thin fleece, with my face bared to the elements (save for a decent pasting of sunblock) for the first time in weeks.

Naturally there was still lashings of non-stop sastrugi to traverse. The ridges weren’t as high as some of the monsters I saw 50 or 60 miles ago, but they were closer together, and it was a rough-and-tumble day out, and I amused myself by etching smiley faces on a couple of the biggest snow sculptures I came across with the tip of my ski pole. I also had the last laugh by chopping up a pointy, hard ridge next to my tent this evening and melting it on my stove to get my drinking water, with several chunks of sastrugi going into rehydrating my (delicious) beef stew.

Not a great deal else to report from down here. My GPS tells me the South Pole is 267km away, and all’s well. I’ll sign off by saying a quick hello to Myles, Billy, Charlie and Lily. Thanks for your note!

Ben Saunders (@polarben)
18/12/17
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Comments

Ernie

19/12/2017

What’s the rescue plan in case of trouble, e.g. you break more skis? I assume it doesn’t involve rowing to Elephant Island.

Reply

Lynn Campbell

19/12/2017

Or surviving on penguins and seals😊

Kevin Wright

19/12/2017

Hi Ben, hip hip hooray! Good mileage today and coming up for the half way mark. You’re doing a great job and amazing thing for the UK 🇬🇧 and not forgetting Henry. I have a question Ben . What’s the next polar challenge? Is there any left? Kev

Reply

Oliver Jackson

18/12/2017

Hey Ben. Keep pushing, dude. Rooting for you from Toronto, Canada. We are also experiencing a warm but rainy day.

Poem.
“All the ice behind you,
all the sun ahead,
ever-present to the day,
are moments spent well led.”

Best of luck.

Reply

Konrad Bartelski

18/12/2017

Wow 😲 a sunny day. Just what was deserved after your wee break. Amazing that you now have the South Pole in your sights. You might even make it there before 2018! Keep it going…and wishing you a few more sunny days ahead.
KB

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David Parkin

18/12/2017

Ben, was there one pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be an adventurer/explorer ? You are an inspiration! I am recovering from an operation at the moment and your updates are great!

Reply

Miss Wood & Tigers Class

18/12/2017

Hi Ben,

We were looking at the time zones within Antarctica and it made us think of you! We are amazed at how far you have traveled and we are so proud of you.
As we are finishing school on Thursday, we thought we would ask one more question.

Since it’s Christmas next Monday, what will you be eating? (will you give yourself a special treat?).

Keep going! You can do it!

Miss Wood & Tigers Class
Epsom Primary and Nursery School
Epsom
Surrey
KT19 8SD

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George Mason

18/12/2017

Dear Ben
I’m a paramedic and often sleep through the daylight as I work night shifts. To make this easier I wear earplugs and an eyemask.

Are you finding it easy to sleep?

Does your imagination fill the silence with stuff – sounds/voices etc

Thanks

G

Reply

Lynn Campbell

18/12/2017

Great to hear you’ve had a long overdue good day.

Reply
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