Day 9: Jenny Unleashed
Our tracks fading away behind us.
This morning the snow was still white, but unlike yesterday, it was visible. The sky was visible too ... blue, not white. The wind was SW 15 gradually building to 20. Temp -14C. A fine Antarctic day.
We found that an inch of snow had fallen yesterday without our having noticed it due to the white out. So we were making ski and pulk tracks after all.
That called for new tactics: following in the leader's tracks.
A cloud was hanging in the south, giving Jenny something to steer toward. I took a little extra weight from her sled, and she set off at a good clip.
I lived the life of Riley most of the day, following Jenny in her tracks, close behind and lost in my music and my thoughts (unfamiliar territory ).
Now here is the surprising part, to me. An hour into our day, the steering cloud vanished, and my intrepid companion kept on going - due south. And going, and going. Wow!
When asked how she was doing it, she explained "I take a compass reading, and line up three sastrugi and follow those." (I might note that her tracks were not straight as an arrow, but plenty good enough.)
Repairing a ski pole. We rarely take sit-down rests, the wind is too cold for that. In fact, I think this is the first sit-down rest of the trip, so far. But even so, it was very brief. To stop for very long is to freeze.
We wear face masks under our fur hoods, but they have a large, wide open hole for breathing (and eating and drinking) through the mouth. If this hole is too small, it would freeze closed. Same with the nostril hole. Today my face mask in the nose area froze to my nose in one small place. So tonight Jenny is sewing a small flap to it, for a little extra nose protection.
S 81° 16.703' W 81° 46.901'