New milestones

We encourage ourselves out here on the ice by taking note of every new milestone. Today we had several reasons for celebration.
Harald Dag Jølle ski-kitingHarald Dag raised his spinnaker and practically flew towards the South Pole. Photo: Norwegian Polar Institute

We have passed 80 degrees south latitude. We have put 100 km behind us. When we set out five days ago, we had over 1300 km to the Pole. Now we are down to 1100 and some. We have reached Amundsen’s first depot. And last but not least, we are catching up with Amundsen! Today we narrowed his lead by 23 km.

But the most significant milestone of the day was our excursion’s first opportunity to sail. When the wind shifted slightly to the east, we fell for temptation and raised our mainsails. This is our secret weapon – the competitive edge we hope will give us a chance to catch up with “the Chief”. Before we knew it (well, almost...) we were 20 km away from where we had started. We exulted in the easy speed but were eventually forced to admit that the wind was taking us so far off course that we would be obliged to put in a few shifts of ordinary old-fashioned skiing at the end of the day.

Position: S 80 01.634, W 166 02.938
Temperature: -31°C (-34.2°C in the morning)
Wind: 3-5 m/s, southeasterly
Distance traversed: 29.5 km
Distance behind Amundsen: 220 km