Distance to go:
Ben and Tarka will cover 1800 miles starting from Scott's Terra Nova Hut at the edge of Antarctica to the South Pole and back to the coast again. That's equivalent to 69 back-to-back marathons hauling up to 200kg each (the weight of roughly two adult men) of kit and supplies necessary to survive.
Distances here are shown in statute miles.
Full Speed Ahead (Day 32)
Day 32: S81° 44' 13.2", E169° 03' 55.86"
Duration: 8 Hr 30 Min
Daily distance: 16.7 Mi
Distance to go: 1499.2 Mi
Temperature: -7 °C
Wind chill: -15 °C
Altitude: 171 Ft
Headwinds again today (same same, as they say in South Africa) but sunny and with good visibility, and we had a couple of brief still hours early this afternoon where we really found our stride, ticking along at 2.5mph (4km/h), which felt like we were hurtling towards the Beardmore. As a result we clocked a record, almost 17 miles (27km) today, which we're both super-happy about, and we reckon we'll be into the thirties (when talking kilometres) before we hit the glacier.
Our burst of speed was perhaps also motivated by a brief glimpse - for an hour or so - on the hazy horizon of what we're pretty sure was Mount Hope, named by Shackleton and used by him and by Scott to find the Gateway, the ramp of snow and ice that makes the Beardmore accessible from the Ross Ice Shelf. We're still a shade under 125miles (200km) away from that point, and it's incredible to be able to see landmarks that far away. If the visibility stays good I'm excited about being able to steer directly toward it (rather than taking bearings on lumps of snow every few minutes) though it'll take us about a week to get there, so it'll also be a reminder of the scale of this journey.
Tarka and I have been discussing an odd phenomenon that we're both experiencing, namely that some hours (and indeed days) pass incredibly quickly, whereas others drag on interminably. Morale seems to have an effect: happiness and the ability to fill hours with cheerful daydreams seems to accelerate time. Conversely, unhappiness or physical discomfort seem to slow it down. What's more, for me at least, time seems to be accelerating as the expedition goes on. During the first few cold, hard days with almost 200kg loads, the thought of doing the same thing for just another week was soul-destroying and the Pole might as well have been a million miles away, yet I'm now lying here pinching myself that we've just finished day 32. We've been sent some questions so I'll get back to those in the next few days. Thanks for tuning in.
P.S. I'm missing (among many things) freshly-baked bread and decent coffee. If you're lucky enough to put either of these in your mouth today, spare a thought for the idiot in the tent eating freeze-dried rations, energy bars, protein shakes and carbohydrate drinks for nearly four months...