Patience and Optimism

Scott-Amundsen Race reports from Punta Arenas

It was Ernest Shackleton who identified the qualities of patience and optimism be present in all polar explorers who were to travel with him. And here in Punta Arenas those qualities are likely to be needed a hundred years later.

The first flight of the season from here to Union Glacier (on the Antarctic) has already been delayed 48 hours due to bad weather – so we are expecting there to be a knock on effect which might impact on us as we are due to fly on Saturday.

But we had enough to do today. Our kit and equipment, especially the food, which had arrived earlier this week, was unpacked and re-stowing in weekly bags. We will be carrying 9 weeks’ worth of food (63 days) plus an additional 10 days in case of an emergency or long delay due to the weather.

Tomorrow will be much the same as today and then hopefully we will still be able to fly on Saturday; but only the Antarctic’s wind and snow will decide that.

Lt Col Henry Worsley, leader of the Amundsen expedition


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  1. Birgitt Schraudolf on October 28, 2011 at 10:02 am said:

    Lieber Paul, mit viel Interesse lesen wir jeden Tag die Berichte und wünschen Euch, daß es nun einfach bald los geht.Ich hoffe, daß die Bedingungen nicht so schlecht sind und Ihr Euere gesteckten Ziele gut erreichen könnt. Hier bei uns geht es allen gut. Telefoniere mit Hanna, sie ist ok. Ganz liebe Grüße von uns allen hier Birgitt

  2. Niko Sikkes on October 20, 2011 at 7:53 pm said:

    Hallo Henry,

    Following you from the island of Skyros.Wish you a “rich” experience in good companionship and with the strenght of
    the real surviver and the wisdom that nature each day again
    Thank you for giving me the opportunity to follow your


  3. Mill Mead on October 20, 2011 at 2:53 pm said:

    Dear Henry/Daddy,
    We have all been listening to the audio reports, we wish you the best of luck.
    Helene asks what the stars are like at the South Pole?
    Honor says that she hopes Ratty is keeping you company.
    And Alicia loves you. xxx

  4. Ed Hall on October 20, 2011 at 6:47 am said:

    H, great to hear your dulcit tones again and reminds me of 3 years ago! I remember Puntas Arenas as always cold, so wrap and up and keep eating as you did not look to have enough layers when I saw you last!! V best to all the team, and be patient.

    Ed x

  5. Am watching/reading your blogs with great interest. The whole polar exploration 100 years ago up to today has really captured my imagination of what it’s like out there.
    Just reading through the book the Queens Gallery has just released, The Heart of the Great Alone. The images are amazingly clear.
    Best of luck

  6. Petr Otway on October 19, 2011 at 11:51 am said:

    Hello Henry

    You’re obviously already in the grip of that old Antarctic syndrome – ‘Hurry up and wait’ (or perhaps it come from the army in the first place)! If you get really bored in Punta Arenas, visit Otway Sound and say hello to ‘my’ penguins. (I met them myself for the first time last year.)
    Hopefully you won’t have time for that but will be winging your way south, on schedule!!

    All the very best Peter Otway

    • Henry Worsley on October 20, 2011 at 2:00 am said:

      Hi Peter
      Too much to do today I am afraid to visit your penguins !
      I spent an hour poring over your photos with the team from the Norwegian Polar Institute who are setting off from the Bay of Whales ahead of us in time to reach the Pole on 14 December.
      Worth looking at their website:

      Best wishes from a wet and windy Punta.

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