Wednesday, 2 November 2016

And ...... Staggering to the start line/ plane.....

I have to say, after a very smooth and straight forward flight over (apart from the checking of my 'very busy' tech bag), the morning after I was met with the blowing news. My kit, that was meant to arrive two weeks before, was still stuck in Santiago due to custom strikes that had already been over a week long.

This was probably the least expected but possibly the most frustrating news to be delivered. I am sure that my face was a picture as the news sunk in and the potential impact/ knock on effect hit me. Was this to be the start of a repeat of last year? Keep calm, don't stress over what you can't change, it will work out, keep positive are all things that I would say but when you are in it, have spent months, years and expense to get to this point - all the above is hard to maintain - measured that I am.

The reason is first hand and goes hand in hand with the realities of an expedition at the bottom of the world, a place that doesn't have runways as we know it and completely weather dependant. Last year, I had a three week delay in Punta due to no flying to Antarctica due to weather and then a further one week delay to get to the start line that doesn't even have a blue ice runway.

Taking that information, if I miss the first flight on Thursday (weather permitting) then I will have to wait until the next flight on the 8th November (weather permitting). If therefore I get on the 8th flight and it takes off on that day, I would have lost 6 days. But that's 80 days less 6 days, then there is the wait to get weather clearance to fly to the start line not to mention the needed shake out that was expected in the 5 days in Punta ....So, Thats 80 less 10, 12, 15? Who knows, but for each day that passes/ delayed it just ups my mileage per day.... And there are only so many miles that can be skied in a day especially when 80mph winds howl, whiteouts and with the harsh changing weather. As this was always going to be a push ... I need everyday on the ice..... In short this is not good news. Although in reality, I know my stubbornness will rise to the challenge and if I need to do 12,13,14 hour days, then so be it, but it's an added risk that I would prefer not to take.

Although my kit is in Punta, it is stuck in customs who are still on strike..... The flight is tomorrow.... Although there maybe some delay due to weather... So the cat and mouse game starts. But as much as I tell myself to do all of the above... It's consuming my life at the moment, and I have to say, with my life so straight forward, simple and stress free at home.... This is not appreciated at all.... Measured that I am...

In short this causes delays, less time skiing, frantic sorting out my kit on the ice and loss of weight before I get on the ice. Not good at all.

1 comment:

  1. Stubborn is a word I can relate to. Use it with full force. Thoughts and prayers are with you and your "runaway" kit. Your PCT crowd.