Our departure has been postponed. It is taking a long time to remove the hard-packed snow from the runway on Union Glacier. Take-off will not be until tomorrow at the earliest, almost exactly 100 years after Roald Amundsen set off from Hvalbukta.
FramheimFramheim before departure towards the Pole in 1911. The dogs are ready. Photo: The Norwegian National Library

The time zone is important here: Amundsen started at 09:30 New Zealand time 19 October, which is 22:30 on 18 October Norwegian time and 17:30 here in Punta Arenas (also 18 October). Amundsen is getting a head start on us! After we land on Union Glacier we still have a 2000 km flight to Hvalbukta, and the weather can always be a complicating factor.

We take Fridtjof Nansen’s words to heart:

“For the time being we must remain in one place and anoint ourselves generously with the ointment called patience, a commodity of which every polar expedition should carry an ample supply.”