Dixie and Sam : Electronics Embargo

Published on 11.01.2012 - Antarctic Ice Expedition

In unknown territory

In unknown territory

© Expedition website

For some days to come, the daily updates Dixie and Sam were used to sent us through the Iridium staphone and that pleased us so much, will be interrupted. Their battery power for electronic devices has reached a critical stage.

A luxury temporarily suspended

Nothing to worry about though. The cause of this lack of power is probably the constant cold -everyone knows that for electronic devices and particularly for their evergy supply, the cold is the number one enemy. So the Expedition HQ does not worry too much : as Julie Brown wrote on 11 January, "this luxury (the fact that evey day they received e-mails) is temporarily suspended."

Is this communication so important ? More of Julie Brown (same day) : "Dixie has been completing polar expeditions for almost 2 decades and he has never before had such consistent and detailed daily communications with the outside world. While he admits that the exchange of ideas is refreshing and at times highly motivating, he doesn't expect it or need it.  Sam is clearly from a generation of increased social contact through evolved social media. His desire for communcations is only normal in an era where messaging is instant."

"Antarctica, however, is a bit slow to join the technological advancements of the other six continents.  The language of this mysterious seventh continent is outside of any frequency that we can understand in our "civilized" world, but that does not negate the fact that this pristine polar region of our globe has a lot to say.  Perhaps today during their radio silence, Dixie and Sam will be able to tune in to all that Antarctica wants to tell them."

Entering an unknown territory

That said, the Belgians are living an important moment of their adventure because they are entering a completely new undiscovered world. They still do not know whether they have to pass the Dôme C or not ; it will depend upon the winds they encounter to help them to make that huge turn left (see on the map) and head East then back North. That will wind them into the direction of the ALCI Novo airbase.

Julie Brown (9 January) : "... They still have a long way to go, and we won't dare to speak of a finish just yet, but this change in direction has always been a huge question mark in our intricate expedition plans. No one really knows where Dixie and Sam are headed. If any of you have ever been driving on a remote road that gradually narrows, bit-by-bit breaks apart into pot holes and loose gravel, and eventually deteriorates into an indiscernible dirt track before finally disappearing into the wild ... this is the psychological feeling that our expedition duo is beginning to experience. It is exhilarating and at the same time daunting to consider where they are headed. But they are not doing it alone. ..."

The Belgian pair is entering now into a real adventure : because from now on, they touch the unknown, not knowing what will unfold out there in the coming days, how will the surface look like, in what direction the winds will blow, what kind of temperatures, of sastrugis fields, they will encounter.

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Antarctic 2012-2013 - ongoing

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