Day 65: Short but Sweet & Letters from Home

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Reflections | New: Letters from Home | Interactive Map


Win tickets for you and a guest to the Race to the Pole Welcome Home Reception at The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace on the 16th of February 2012! All you have to do is make a donation via the page to enter our prize draw. There are two tickets (plus a guest each) up for grabs – the winners will be announced on January 20th 2012.


Distance to the Pole (straight line): 39.3 nmi
Total distance travelled: 659.6 nmi


In Association with the Royal British Legion

Satellite problems mean today’s report from Henry is an unusual one. Unfortunately, his usual report was cut very short, but he was able to relay the Team Amundsen daily sitrep, some of which has been edited and presented to you this evening.

Let’s hope Henry and Lou can give us a recap of today, tomorrow. But judging by the stats, they put in a good day of travel with favourable weather conditions.

Can’t see the audio player? Download the audio as an MP3
(Click to open directly or right-click and choose “save target or “save link as”)


Please keep pressing the “play” button to advance to the next slide of the presentation.


Distance to the Pole (straight line): 187 nmi*
Total distance travelled: 592.5 nmi*
* No new data today


The Scott team suffered the same technical problems as Team Amundsen today. Unfortunately, Mark could only leave us the first 10 seconds of his report. But what 10 seconds! If a picture paints a thousand words, I don’t know how many these 10 seconds conjure up. Many more, that’s for sure.

It sounds like poor Kev had what some might call a “wardrobe malfunction”, which in the Antarctic, is no laughing matter. Oh alright then, it is a little funny. Do listen on!

Can’t see the audio player? Download the audio as an MP3
(Click to open directly or right-click and choose “save target or “save link as”)


Unfortunately there was no new data from Team Scott today due to technical problems. We hope to bring you a new sitrep tomorrow. Thanks for your patience!



We give voice to the loved ones of our intrepid adventurers. This week, it’s the turn if Mark’s bestfriend Breff McGovern:

Anyone who has perused the vision page of Marks website from his previous expedition, Solo, will have read Mark’s account of how he was inspired to follow in the footsteps of Captain Scott and his gallant companions. However, he doesn’t mention the fact that I was right by his side.

Sadly for me, whilst Mark read of Scott’s adventures that would eventually see him walking literally in Scott’s footsteps, I was busily defacing the bumper sports book 1977 with my not indistinctive handwriting.

Where would my life have taken me had I been similarly inspired? How was I caught?

John, Breff and Mark enjoy a beer and a cigar. Mark fell asleep shortly after. Click to enlarge

John, Breff and Mark enjoy a beer and a cigar. Mark fell asleep shortly after. Click to enlarge

I first met Mark at school where we both found ourselves sitting at the same desk slap bang in front of the teacher – this was the one for pupils that work well under close supervision. We hit it off immediately and for the rest of our school days our reports would be eerily similar. Mine read ‘’Breffne is a bad influence on Mark’’. Marks read ‘’Mark is a bad influence on Breffne”.

Sorry Ken and Kathy I know we must have driven you insane. Luckily, you’re only aware of a very small proportion of what we got up to!

As well as a lifelong interest in being naughty we also had a shared interest in everything Para and via the Army cadets we found ourselves in the Army.

Now a rather scary 30 or so years since we first met and Mark is about to achieve his boyhood dream. I’m not surprised. He is the most single minded, determined individual you will ever meet.

I look forward to having a beer and one of his cigars when He gets home. I am proud to be his friend.


P.S You owe me a tenner

If you’re a family member or close friend, and would like to send your message out to all the readers, please do email Andrew Gough (webmaster) at


Part 3 – The Conclusion

A series of reflections on Antarctic travels past and present, by Peter Otway. In the early 1960s, Peter surveyed much of the areas through which our teams are now passing. In this, Part 3, Peter concludes his series of reflections.

“Our mission, dictated by the New Zealand Antarctic Division, was to produce an accurate topographic map (at a scale of 1:250,000) and to carry out a geological reconnaissance of the region as part of NZ’s Ross Dependency mapping programme.  To achieve this, leader Wally Herbert and I (as the surveyor) planned to establish extensive ground control (accurately located natural features) to provide the framework for us to map the detail from US oblique aerial photography once back in New Zealand. Geologist Vic McGregor was responsible for the geological mapping and rock collection and mountaineer and guide Kevin Pain was our field assistant – and my tent and sledging mate.  That was the theory, but then there was always the “Antarctic factor” which ensures that every physical, or even mental, endeavour is just that much harder to do there than anywhere else on earth thanks to the ever-present cold and the effort of even moving around in over-stuffed clothing or carrying out fiddly tasks wearing great furry mitts.”

From left to right: Vic McGregor (geologist), Peter Otway (surveyor), Kevin Pain (field assistant), Wally Herbert (leader)

From left to right: Vic McGregor (geologist), Peter Otway (surveyor), Kevin Pain (field assistant), Wally Herbert (leader). Click to enlarge

Click here to read Part 3 of Peter Otway’s Reflections in full


Keep track of both teams with our interactive Google Earth map. Zoom in to see each day’s progress, with the position marked by pictures of team leaders Henry Worsley and Mark Langridge. Click on the icon to see that day’s sitrep in full.

View SACR in a larger map

A Special Message to all Schools

The three schools that raise the most funds for the Scott-Amundsen Race and the Royal British Legion will be rewarded with a visit from the Scott team! Mark, Vic and Kev will give a full presentation during their visit, with slides, videos, images, in short, the full works.

Schools wishing to donate should do so via the page. Enter the name of your school when donating, and email Andy the webmaster to make sure we register your donation.

We’d also like to invite all the schools that are following the progress to contact the webmaster, so that you can be mentioned on a new “Scott-Amundsen Schools” page. Please include a very short text on your school and any SACR-related activities, especially fundraising efforts! We’ll list your school plus a link to your website.



  1. Tracey Ceaton on January 6, 2012 at 6:51 pm said:

    Oh Breff what a lovely letter from home – i got all upset remembering you young scamps as kids! I also remember the school reports (of course mine said Tracey is a complete angel!), a lovely letter Breff well done!! x

  2. Hilary and Brian on January 6, 2012 at 6:25 pm said:

    Kev, this is no time to get Arctic Willy! Your home in a couple of weeks – why not just say you have a headache? That works.

    Joking aside, your nearly there – it is all getting even more exciting listening to your audio reports. Your team spirit is amazing – will you be able to live without each other after this?

    Good luck to Amundsen Team – not far now – fantastic.

    Keep safe everybody. See you all soon.

    Love Mum and Dad B XXXX

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