Choose to fight!

Vegard’s children have inscribed a greeting on his bowl. It says “Choose to fight, Daddy!” Today we have all fought. We gave ourselves two extra hours this morning, hoping that the wind would die down. It didn’t. We set off in zero visibility and thick driving snow, with gale force winds in our faces. After a few hours of what felt like floating weightlessly in a featureless white ball of cotton, Vegard decided the wind would permit sailing. The veteran ski-sailors Vegard and Harald Dag would tow Stein and Jan-Gunnar.
Stein P. Aasheim and Jan-Gunnar WintherStein and Jan-Gunnar enjoying their lunch break. Photo: Norwegian Polar Institute

“Poof!” Suddenly the wind filled Vegard’s spinnaker. He flew skywards like a human cannonball until his anchor (two sleds and one Winther) jerked him back to earth as quickly as he had left it. Skis, lines, and goggles had a somewhat different distribution than before the detonation. “The wind is too strong,” yelled Vegard through the gusts. “We’ll have to use the small sails.”

Shortly after, Ulvang, Winther and two sleds disappeared in the wake of a flapping sheet of nylon. So we packed up and we all continued onward on skis, like an ordinary expedition to the South Pole.

But Runa and Nora should know that their father has obeyed the injunction they put on his bowl.

Position: S 84 37.443, W 163 03.982
Temperature: -7°C
Wind: 8–12 m/s from the southeast
Distance traversed: 19 km
Distance behind Amundsen: 166 km
Total distance traversed: 638 km
Distance remaining to the South Pole: 672 km