Hours of journey: 9h30' - Accumulative: 239h15
Km./Day: 30,6 - Accumulative: 515,9Km. Remaining to the South Pole: 629,3Km.
Days of progress: 28 (24 Solo) - Inactive Days: 15 (0 Solo) - Total Days: 43
Well yes...! Today I have gone beyond the 30Km/day. It comes as a surprise due to the poor visibility during the first 4 hours and it was hard to distinguish the relief.. The surface was very good and it was easy to find the course. I was more fatigued than yesterday, but I wanted to beat at least the 28 Km. after calculating if I'm able to keep from (including today), a daily average of 28 Km. covered, it will take me 24 days to the South Pole. Now that I have already plenty of days over the 25 Km. and a couple around 30, I believe that 28 Km. a day can be a good target...So far, following this average that kicks off today, I would only have 23 to go, and I have 2,3 as reserve (the difference between the 28 and the ones achieved today) to use to any day I cannot make it, or as a motivational bonus for a day in the end.
With these calculations, I would reach my final destination the 3rd of January if I don't make any stop to rest or because of poor weather conditions. I think now, no stops allowing, at the most I could improve a couple or three days, or at the same time, worsen also 3 or 4. Hence and fingers crossed, I hope to arrive to the South Pole, between New Year's eve and Kings day approximately.
Three days ago, when I was telling you about how I organized the orientation aspect of the expedition, I was going on about I could not go with the GPS out in the air while on route as it would die in no more than one hour. Meaning that I look at it every one or two hours, always checking the course with the magnetic compass. What I do is to look for a visual reference and go there. Once there, check the magnetic compass and set a new visual reference and establish the course. But what often happens is that I do not get clear visual references (clouds, Sastrugis areas, darker or clearer zones, etc...), y then you have to go checking the magnetic compass very regularly, and that means an important time loss, aside of the course deviations because of this that affect the overall day performance.
In order to solve this issue, there is a system I have seen used in other Polar expeditions. It consists of a Compass (different from a magnetic compass) in a round shape, that kind of floates and it always points the right direction, even in motion or in steep slopes (you probably seen those in some dashboards in 4x4 cars) . And they carry the compass using a system attached to their waist always at the front in order to follow the course without stopping. I did ask about the convenience of having that system, but I was told it was not worth it and I did not ask any further. But the truth is that I find it very necessary and I would strongly recommend it anybody doing Polar expeditions.
It is from here, a few days ago when I started to design an odd-job to use as compass the way I have just explained. Material needed: A compass, a spare ski binding, a good piece of aluminum I normally use for my stove to protect it when cooking (I have a spare one), american tape and a sling. As a result I made myself a type of compass (you can see it in the photo), which is not as precise when marching, but it gives you an idea of the course to correct it if I go off course, and when I go really slow or I just stop it shows the course perfectly fine and allows me to correct.
All in all, I'm happy as Larry with my little invention which it helps me at the same time to improve the pace as it keeps me away of having to stop all the time to check the direction constantly.
I DEDICATE THE JOURNEY TO:
All the INVERGROUP team... My work team: Monica, both Raquels, Montse, Elisabeth and my poor Ignasi on the verge of a nervous breakdown with so many women around him on his own.
They are a magnificent group of people, as they are used to see me pressing the HYPERSPACE button and then disappearing for a while to do some crazy adventure around the world and they always maximize their professionalism and their responsibilities when abroad during my absence. Thanks to all this team I am able to do my adventures I will always be grateful to them.
A very special Antarctic thought to Mònica Palencia, who works with since she left University 10 years ago, in a temporary contract and becoming now Executive Managing Director executing perfectly her tasks. Moreover, she will face in 2012 one of the biggest adventures a woman can have which is to become a mother.
To the rest of you, many thanks for being such good professionals, and above all, please take care of Ignasi, the only man in the castle when I'm not there, as I do not want him to end up as crazy as you...! Mainly because you are serious and smart at work, but also crazy and fun quite a bit! One only has to read your comments in my chronicles, signing as "LADYSCC276" ...be aware that people may think that is the name of a dodgy road club, when it means our office address!