Day 21

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Was always going to be the difficult second album after 40km yesterday, but actually turned out pretty good! 37.8km covered in 12 hours. If all goes well tomorrow I’ll finally hit Thiels Corner by the evening. The dream of 38 days lives on!
The day started off with Mariah Carey’s “all I want for Christmas” courtesy of my sisters playlist. This left me dreaming of the Bavarian tent at winter wonderland and inevitably the bratwurst hotdogs that are sold outside. Despite being surrounded by snow, I’m not really getting into  the festive spirit down here just yet, fingers crossed a Christmas Day finish will bring me into the swing of things right at the last minute.

I’m bracing myself for some 25 knot gusts tonight, Bessie has not yet earned a place in the tent so she can take that on the chin this time. The wind has been by far the most challenging part of Antarctica so far. Even -20 doesn’t feel too cold until you get hit by the wind and any exposed flesh will start stinging instantly. I’m pretty sure it also has tentacles as anything not tied down is quickly snatched up and gone across the plateau (including pepperamis). Whenever the wind is pumping and my breaks come around, it is a mad dash to get my @Shackleton down jacket on and hood up. Once I’ve sealed the hood, got my head down (full emperor penguin mode) and the headphones are blaring, I can shut my eyes and pretty much imagine I’m in my bed in London despite the chaos blowing around me, it really is bomb proof. Martin and Ian from Shackleton have been incredibly generous to me as a co-lead sponsor for the expedition, the goal with the jacket was always to plan for the worst and hope for the best in regards to weather and what they built could withstand anything. If anyone (like me) has forgotten to do any Xmas shopping, Shackleton are offering 15% off everything with the code SCOTT15, 5% of everything sold with that code will also be donated to the @gurkhawelfaretrust. Signature jumper in blue is my personal favourite - side effects of wearing may be to end up alone in Antarctica trying to channel your inner Shackleton though so wear with caution.

Question: how long does it take you to put up your tent?

I’m lucky that due to Bessie’s length I can roll up the tent with the poles still inside and pack it away like that, this saves me having to faff around threading poles in when it’s windy. At the moment from the point I stop moving to have the stove on and water boiling inside the tent is about 20 minutes, so to just get the tent up and fully pegged In etc takes maybe 10 minutes or so.