Still we wait

I felt extremely optimistic about the prospects for the day when I woke up because the tent wasn’t flapping so much. On a foray outside I discovered this was because our tent is half buried in snow that has drifted around it and all through the camp. Hundreds of cubic metres of snow has drifted into the camp forming ridges over 1 metre high and many metres long downwind from each tent or obstruction.

So as a result of ongoing inclement weather we slept in to midday then celebrated the 60th birthday of our esteemed team member Waleed. Norwegian polar specialist Ronnie made a superb dinner which was consumed with gusto amid plenty of banter about the meaning of life and all else that seems to be of importance to us out here as well as lots of the usual drivel we manage to come up with when we have the benefit of absolute isolation. In all, it has been a great day of rest and we pray to the weather gods for an improvement tomorrow.

Meanwhile thousands, if not millions of cubic metres of snow flows past us on its constant migration around Antarctica, not really going anywhere specific, but being moved around by the weather systems and neither melting or settling. Perhaps they should call it Gypsy snow as it has no permanent home and may never do as the winds keep it on the move. Considering we are on the driest continent on earth, there’s a hell of a lot of snow around!

We’re hoping to move in the morning, if we cannot, it’s hard to know what to write in the journal, we can only begin to reflect on the suffering of those who came before us almost 100 years ago but our time here in this environment only increases our respect for their fortitude and stoicism.

Meanwhile, happy to be born of the technological age, I retire to my North Face Inferno sleeping bag with zillions of centimeters of loft and billions of Btu’s generated by my body heat, relishing in the comforts provided by modern equipment while millimeters away, through the thin nylon wall of my tent, the harsh Antarctic climate blasts across the plateau unaffected by my passage. That in itself is actually a comforting thought on many levels.

Sweet dreams.


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6 Responses to Still we wait

  1. sultana says:

    Hey Abu Toomi, Toomi, and Abu Dean

    I cannot begun to count all the people that are reading the daily dispatches, this site is more popular than any show on TV. Even our cousin Lamia Zahid is yelling at her kids to get the site up so she can read the latest bulletin! Sadly, all that can read do not necessarily know how to write you comments!
    So from Lamia Zahid, Laila Naamani, Hamida, FMA ( again, who is impressed and enjoy Toomi’s writing) Ernesto Ihab, Abdulrahman Hassan Akbar, Faisal Lina and Mohamed Harassani, Maha Harassani, Fawz,Lily and Mack and all those that I forget:” Bravo, you guys are amazing and we are all cheering and praying for your safety.”

    It’s almost over…. hang in there…. hot showers and clean food… and don’t forget an extra raka’ to thank Him for your safety.

    Allah Maakum, please give my warmest to Duncan

  2. George Scott says:

    Happy Birthday Sk. Waleed! I know it’s a bit late, but as you already know I’m a bit slow at these things – only just worked out how this posting thing works …….on the assumption that it has….
    We look forward to the safe arrival of all of you at the Pole. I daresay ice cream, sorbets etc are off the menu for a while ?
    Meanwhile I look forward to checking out Haytham’s excellent reports.
    Kindest regards and a safe return to all from – George

  3. Mohammed O. Fallatah says:

    Dear Zahid adventures, Hope all is well with you. Just want to say Hello to people that I know, in ANTARCTICA! Thumbs up, see you soon.

  4. Noura T. says:

    It’s 2 AM in Jeddah and Aunty Sultana’s BBM status just switched to “Inshallah: South Pole.” I sent her a message saying that I’ve been following your blog and she asked me write a comment.

    But what to write?!

    “Good job guys!?” (obviously)

    “That’s awesome!” (doesn’t quite capture it)

    “Keep it up, you can do it!?” (she says, sitting cross-legged while listening to music and eating cookies)

    But honestly, I just keep thinking about MWZ’s tooth. Did he really break it with his toothbrush? *cringe* Salamat šŸ˜¦

    Looking forward to celebrating with you on your return bissalamah, inshallah!

    Noura T. (Alturki)

    P.S. Happy belated birthday 3ammu Waleed!
    P.P.S. My mom, (aunty) Fawz is your biggest fan. We’re all in awe šŸ™‚
    P.P.P.S. An extra one for aunty Sultana: ALLAH Yi7MEEKUM

  5. Talal Idriss says:

    we are here in my house , present are mamoun and marita Tamer, khalid juffali, mutaz sawaf, issam kronfol and friends and we are watching your expedition live and wxplaining what you are trying to do here are the comments:

    mamoun Tamer

    wishes you a safe return

    khaled juffali

    i hope to have a safe trip and we look to welcome you back to 35 degrees, and still swiming in the beach and the sun sets at 5:30. take care

    mutas sawaf

    you are wasting your time and hope to safe in jeddah

    issam kronfol

    wish i had the guts to do the same


    we are all a bit tipsy, and enjoying the comments on your site

  6. Suresh Haridas says:

    I guess only those who are at the spot can visualise the heroics of the early explorers. I
    wonder if it is only curiosity that drives humans to explore new areas or is it something else ?
    Suresh H

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