Due to the extremely calm and favourable weather conditions yesterday, Dixie took his team on an 18 kilometre reconnaissance hike around their current camp. While some cloud cover hovered in the morning, and again in the late evening, the sun beat down on them with intensity during most of the day. For the first time in Antarctica, they were forced to be diligent with sun protective cream on exposed skin.
At the beginning of their hike, Bernice, Rosa and Sylvianne used crampons on the snow-covered ice, but after about 1 1/2 hours, they removed their crampons due to the rocky terrain. They found themselves in a very special place: the Schirmacher Oasis.
They meandered toward the Oasis Guest House where they were warmly welcomed by Peter, Andrei and Leonid for a hot cup of tea and enchanting adventure stories from polar legends. Nearby, at the banya (authentic Russian sauna), the ladies were delighted to see a photo of Dixie, taken together with his former expedition teammate Sam Deltour in 2012, hanging on the "wall of fame" of this charming building.
Their walk continued in the vicinity of two scientific stations: Novolazarevskaya, which is managed by Russia, and Maitri, an Indian research station. Our team fully respected the understood Antarctic protocol to leave the scientists undisturbed and able to focus on their work, and thus our group continued on its way back to its own cozy camp.
Along the way, their eyes caught sight of this bizarre object, one that grew clearly identifiable as they neared it. It's a reminder of nature's severity in this frozen location, a place where the process of decay is significantly slowed.
Dixie is very pleased with the technical skills of his team. Things look promising indeed for the next level of their expedition activities once they return to Wolf's Fang in a few days.