Day 22

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Forget the mileage, forget the weight loss, forget the weather, the update people have all been waiting for is finally here - beard watch. As you can see, the beard is scoring a very very average 4.5 out of 10 (please do add your own score below). Incredibly patchy, bald patches everywhere but still plucky, and everyone loves a trier. You may have also notice I’m slightly puffy around the eyes with a couple of red spots on my eye lids, the wind was absolutely ploughing into me this morning and managed to get through the de-misting vents in my goggles and irritate the skin around my eyes slightly.

I covered just over 34km today in 12 hours, which brought me to within a couple of kilometres of Theils Corner. Theils corner is an ice runway where the small planes going to and from the pole or across the continent can refuel. It is also where a lot of expeditions have their resupply caches on their way to the pole, I decided to stop a couple of kilometres away to help resist the temptation of digging up someone’s delicious stash of chocolate for myself. My own food bags have had to be left in Bessie and no longer brought into the tent due to my inner chubster constantly trying to convince me that eating just one of the remaining 52 snickers wouldn’t hurt.

As I was approaching Thiels, just 3 kilometres short, a plane came overhead and descended to the ice. It was already 20:27 and I was due to stop and set up the tent as soon as Mr Mystophalies (from cats the musical and courtesy of my brother in laws playlist) stopped playing, so I was never going to be able to get to the runway in time to say hello before they took off again. I’d missed out on some human contact by the tiniest of fractions. It did however get me thinking about my “plane day”. Each persons plane day is the point in the expedition where if a plane were to land on the ice next to you and offer you a lift home, would you take it. I can safely say I’m not at that point just yet, but I did think if that plane had touched down 3km earlier, swung open his door and said “I’ve got a XL meat feast from dominoes and a lamb shish kebab, do you want them?” I would have very nearly thrown away the hope of an unsupported record for a feed like that!

Questions

What was your first adventure?

Well I used to be in @beavers and @cubs so have fond memories of running around the Knowlands woods in Sussex with them. My first camping trip was down by the river Ouse about 500m from my house after I got given a tent for my birthday, got absolutely destroyed by mosquitos!

How do you keep going in a straight line?

I use a combination of the my watch and shadow (for example at 14:15 Chilean time my shadow will be directly in front of me). I also have my @suunto compass mounted on a harness on my chest. As well as that I have two bits of ribbon tied to my ski poles, so when the wind is blowing consistently it is an easy way to quickly check if I’m going roughly the right way. If all else fails I can check my position on a GPS.