Sarah and Thomas flying their kites

Published on 11.01.2009 - Base to the South Pole

We have just had confirmation that Thomas Davenport and Sarah McNair Landry, who was the guide for the 'Base' expedition, are returning to Patriot Hills on skis, pulled along by their traction kites.

In actual fact there is very little information doing the rounds about the beginning of this new trip. Thomas wrote on 8th January that the ALE Twin Otter had finally arrived at the American base to pick up their tourist companions to take them back to Patriot Hills. That was on 6th January, which meant they had been waiting for three days.

He also wrote that on leaving the base, he and Sarah had been forced to wait for an hour at the edge of the landing strip because there was a Hercules arriving from McMurdo – no doubt the daily flight between the Pole and the Antarctic coast of the Ross Iceshelf. He also reports that on their way, they happened across the group of three guided by Richard Weber, which was making its final approach to the Pole, doubtless with another amazing record up its sleeve.

One early statistic from their journey: the two succeeded in covering the first degree of latitude of their trip back in a little under 25 hours. In any event, it appears that they do not plan to adhere to any pre-set timetable of so many hours of kiting a day for their return. That's because they are dependent on the wind and so doubtless they will only be stopping to sleep when the wind is not suitable for launching their traction kites and they will be taking every opportunity the Antarctic wind gods have to offer, even if that means being on the move for 24 hours or more at a stretch.

We have no other further news of the two other adventurers who had previously expressed a wish to join Davenport and McNair Landry on the return trip with the kites.

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