Antarctica Blog - Day 13 - 30th December 2012

It’s been a good day at the office today.  Started off in to another headwind and throughout the day the wind died down and as I put camp up tonight the silence was quite eerie, you could here a pin drop.  I skied for 9 hours and covered 34.3km/18.51 nautical miles/21miles.  I climbed today too and I am now at the altitude of 1,136m/3,727ft.  A real good day today.

The going is really mixed in terms of terrain from really hard and slippery ice, not blue ice, but hard ice to wind swept snow, to quite soft snow.  You always have to be on you toes as it can be different under foot.  Having good visibility really makes a massive difference so I can maximize all my time on each 2-hour stint of skiing.  I have turned into a bit of a number cruncher, and I monitor my progress constantly.  If visibility is good it makes such a difference to my progress because it’s easier to navigate and I spend less time checking my bearing.  It’s not necessarily about cloud cover either, when the light is good I have references to keep and hold a bearing to which makes a real difference and I can just operate so much more efficiently.  Physically I am pushing hard all day, I am tired today but feel good.

There are a few big crevasses that I have GPS co-ordinates for.  I passed the first major crevasse field at the start of the expedition and today marked another point as I navigated one of the biggest crevasses I have GPS for and I have another one to navigate around tomorrow.  Another reason why today was a good day is that I went in to the 83-degree line of latitude.  Tomorrow I will be a third of the way through.

I have got some kind of fungal groin infection, my first pair of pants have worn through already, I am on to my second pair and using my athletes foot cream on my crotch!  It’s not painful, it’s just from the chafing, it’s getting a bit irritating but I am on top of it and just trying to prevent it from getting infected.

Blister update: The blisters on my feet aren’t getting any worse and they aren’t any better.  I’m taking the fact that they aren’t getting any worse as a positive.

Beard update: My beard is full of food, standard.

Dinner update: Thai green curry followed by rice pudding with fruit tonight, Thai green curry is my favourite!

I hear it’s New Years Eve tomorrow, haven’t got any plans as yet, I’m waiting to see what’s lined up at the moment!....Seriously guys, have a great New Years Eve wherever you are, have one for me and thank you for your continued messages of support and for all your support in 2012.  I wish you all health, happiness and prosperity in 2013.  I won’t be blogging tomorrow night, just sending you a quick update on my km/miles and I’ll speak to you all on New Years Day.  Rich.