Audio Dispatch

Hello this is Aaron in Antarctica, day 20. Camp position South 80 degrees 53 decimal 634 minutes, position West 080 degrees 58 decimal 123 minutes. Time traveled 9.5 hours, distance 6.2. Finally I’ve broken the 6 mile barrier. I pretty much figure I’m a week behind other teams that have done this before and well there you are, I guess getting sick for a week with a lung infection and getting wiped out in the killing zone between Wilson Nunataks and Patriot Hills was pretty much devastating for me but, I am learning how to eat properly and time everything. So between all that mess hear I am, I’m just about to hopefully breach the 81st degree tomorrow. I’d love to be at degree 82 today and dropping the first cache, but still probably a week away, so not too bad. I’m gonna call this area the area of steps because where I camped yesterday was flat, probably went a mile and then went up a good mile and then I’ve gone flat for a couple miles now and now I’m just about to hit another grade to go up, do another plateau, so this is a step area. Let’s see, got up at 5:30, that worked pretty well, I was able to get my breaks down to about 15 minutes, got much better eating and not wanting to yack. I did have a half hour lunch break. Let’s see, what else, oh todays Antarctic tid bit, it takes 6 liters of water for me to barely not fall apart, make dinner and breakfast. It’s amazing how dehydrating it is here. Before when I wasn’t making that much water my fingers were cracking and feet were cracking, I was literally falling apart, so. The problem is, to make that much water it exceeds your usual fuel allotment of 220 millileters, so what I figured out is I only get the thermos, the very good thermos, boiling hot and the first 2 liters pretty close to boiling and that warms up all my electronics so I can actually use them cause when they’re cold the battery dies, I have no phone then I’m in trouble and then the rest of the water bottles just get to pretty warm, otherwise I’m just wasting fuel, in fact I don’t need them that warm, I’m gonna throttle it back even more to conserve fuel cause everything here is at a premium, even toilet paper, as I discussed. One thing I did notice, I had my first leak in a Nalgene ever, I’m not sure what’s wrong with the lid, but probably one of the threads is cracked so. What you do is when you fill those things up and close them, tilt them, make sure they don’t pour out, casue a sleeping bag full of water would be a pretty big disaster. Also, once I make that water, it’s interesting that in order for it not to freeze cause it’s probably minus 10 in my tent at the moment, fahrenheit, is I’ve gotta put all those water bottles in my bag, so it keeps them warm and keeps my feet warm which is real pleasant. And then also when I’m traveling, it could be minus 10 to minus 25 outside at least without the sun, it was cold today without the sun. So I actually keep all my water bottles I’m gonna use during the day in my sleeping bag jammed in my bag, in my tekking bag, otherwise they freeze solid and they just become worhtless rocks to me so. Managing your water not freezing is a huge, huge deal here. It usually takes me about an hour and a half to make those 6 liters of water. I’m trying to knock that down as much as possible so I can get to bed earlier and not waste so much fuel but. For as much snow and ice as there is here, it sure takes a lot to get it going. Plus side, the shovel, I have 2 holes set in it, I probably could use it but I’m gonna play it conservative and drill another hole and put a screw that I have for my sled rig and hopefully that will be a much more solid shovel than what I have and I gotta just be gentle on that thing, if I bend the blade it’s all over. Let’s see, what else, just wish I was covering more distance, but at this point there’s not a heck of a lot I can do so other than that, waking up earlier and going earlier and….dispatch disconnect.

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