Saturday, June 7, 2014

What is left

06/06 camp 43
Distance today: 15 km
Total distance: 4028 km
Position: 68.3518 N 36.5136 W alt 2900 m
Hours kited: 5 h

What is left? 1000 km remain to be covered. Only two days ago this seemed almost like a detail after a few days of excellent progression. Today, Greenland once more appears as big, as it actually is, and 1000 km still a long way to go. We have been blocked without wind or with headwinds for about 4 days now. Today, we moved a laborious 15 km, tacking into headwinds with our Speed 4 10 m2.

You may wonder, whether we are going to make it?

The autonomy of an expedition is 'rocket science' in a certain way. The more food and fuel we take along, the further we can go. The higher the redundancy of all equipment, the easier we can make up for damage and loss. But on the downside, the heavier the load, the more difficult is the progression hauling all the provisions.

In the beginning we clearly felt the influence of the weight on our progression. The sleds weighted nearly three times as much as myself, and more than twice as much as Mika! For a given windspeed one would usually choose a kite at the scale of the body weight. But here we need to use kites to propell the combined weight of ourselfs and the sleds, while we still can only use our bodyweight to oppose and re-direct the vertical traction, absorb the gusts, and to start and land the wings!

Living on limited supplies, managing the stock, and improvising with the 'means of board' is an integral part of the adventure. Each breakage or loss changes our options and we have to compose with the new reality. We broke a shovel - and could sew it with a piece of steel wire. We have lost a stove and use our spare, and we have lost half of our medical kit. Hot chocolate has become a rare thing, and we got used to the fact that all food bags are covered by a thin layer of chocolate powder. But luckily we have been spared from any big desasters so far.

What is left? We have food for another 20 days, fuel for nearly 30 days, and our insurance is valid until 22/06. We also have enough Sudoku for a few more days without wind. The forecast for the following days looks promising however. Lets hope we don't need them any longer!

Image: Mika with Speed 3 19 m2, the last day before we lost the wind.

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