ANTARCTICA: Swimming in -1.8C Water

This week we celebrate Mid Winters Day,the Mid Winters Solstice,with a unique Antarctic Tradition.The Mid Winter Swim, something that I have been looking forward to for ages.I don’t know why, it was sobloody cold, it hurt. The temps on Mid Winters day were -29.3C and the water was a freezing -1.8C, I must be crazy to swim in this. 

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Chainsawing the Sea Ice

Why are the Mid Winter Celebrations so important to expeditioners? Well it is a milestone for us. Here at Mawson the sun set on the 19th of June and we wont see it again for 10 days. It is now that we are in the middle of the darkest, coldest part of our stay in Antarctica. It’s around this time that you really miss home, you miss your loved ones, you miss the beach sand and you miss your dog, well I know I do. This is when your Antarctic family come together for  the best dinner and festivities of the year. We still have a long way to go before we return to the warmth of home, but for now, this is home and this is our family and now I realise that, so we celebrate. 

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Preparing the pool

One thing we do for a bit of a laugh is send out invitations to our celebrations. It’s all a bit of fun as we are well aware how isolated we are right now, there is no way in, or out. This year I sent a few invites out to some of my favourite YouTubers and to my suprise, got a few great replies from Nicole Eddy and Louis Cole.

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Getting ready for the swim

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Yep its as cold as i thought

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Shane’s Polar Plunge

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Yep it was freezing

Thank you so much for visiting TatteredPassport. If you have enjoyed this post please share with you friends. If you have any questions about this video or anything about life down here in Antarctica, please ask in the comments and i’ll see if I can do a video on it.

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One Life, One Search,

Peace Out,

Shane.

Yeti Scalps and Chanting Monks: Daily Vlog 19.

Daily Vlog: 19

Deboche to Namche.

Prasant’s Easter Yak Pak start the day in good spirits, we are all high on oxygen now that we are at 3770m and on our way down to Namche which is at 3500m and we all know what is waiting for us in Namche, a shower, Oh Yeah!!! The day starts with a steep decline down through the beautiful flowering Rhododendron forest.

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Walking through the the rhododendrons.

Everyday whilst trekking through the Himalaya’s the scenery changes and you are always treated to something new. Today we had to dodge getting “poo’d” on by Yaks that were above us using a suspension bridge, not something that comes to mind when planning a trekkingholiday???

We visit a school in a village called Khumjung, it was a saturday, the only day that the kids do not go to school bugger. However it was great to walk through the school grounds and pay our respect to Sir Edmund Hillary. He is pretty much considered a “God” in these parts and built this school. In 1960 Sir Edmund Hillary asked his Sherpa People friends what he could do to repay them for everything they had done for him, they wanted a school for there children, two years later Khumjung School was opened for its first class.

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Khumjung Monastery Scripts

We visit another monastery the Khumjung Monastery (Khumjung Gompa). The monks were chanting, the sound was incredible I let the the wash over me, the sound touches your soul, it was beautiful. This monastery has an unusual tourist attraction, which also has an interesting story. The monks now proudly display, for a small donation their prized Yeti Scalp, yep you did read that correctly, a Yeti Scalp. The story goes something like this, the villagers received the scalp as a gift and were so displeased that they kicked it along the ground their entire way back to the village. Only to realise some years later that western tourist were interested in it and would offer a donation to see it?

 

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Have you seen the Yeti Scalp in Khumjung? What do you think?

 

One Life, One Search,

 

Peace Out,

 

Shane