Sun on the tent

Suddenly it was there again last night. The sun. After nearly three days’ absence it was glorious seeing sunlight shining on the cloth of our tents. It makes all the difference.
Two skiers with ski sailsWe hold firm to our belief that the weather gods can help us on our way to the pole. This image shows today’s attempt. Photo: Norwegian Polar Institute

It has been quite cold today, we must admit. It started so well. We rigged our sails and thought we would get some significant and much-desired help, but once again the wind was from almost due south and blew us off course. It is not without reason that most ski-sailors and kiters in Antarctica start at the pole and go to the coast. It has occurred to us that it isn’t such a bad idea: it puts the wind at your back and the sun in your face. But enough said about that. We are skiing towards the South Pole. That’s the way it’s supposed to be. One skis to the South Pole, not from it.

After we’d stashed away our sails, the wind picked up and veered to an even more northerly direction. But that isn’t what this text was supposed to be about. Quite the opposite. Today’s blog was supposed to be about how delightful it is to see sunlight dancing on our tent and heating our home. The sun makes it livable inside, even if only a couple thin sheets of nylon cloth separate us from another world. It allows us to stretch out and enjoy life. All the chills of the day are forgotten. We linger over our evening coffee and turn on the computer to download today’s mail. Has meteorologist Marc at Union Glacier forecast good sailing winds for the pole and continued sunshine on the tents?

Position: S 86 05.445, W 174 40.192
Temperature: -25°C
Wind: 6–10 m/s from the southeast
Elevation: 2800 metres
Distance traversed: 29 km
Distance behind Amundsen: 116 km
Total distance traversed: 872 km
Distance remaining to the South Pole: 439 km