Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Today the team reports a long day, with good mileage, but tired team members. They skied 24.4 kilometers in 11 hours. Their position is S 82.57.965, W 83.42.967. Tomorrow they will pass 83 degrees.

We received the following questions from Doug Williams... "Several times it’s been mentioned that during white-out days the team rely on their compasses (among other things) to ensure they stay on the right course. I was wondering if the difference between the geographic and magnetic south poles is an issue and, if so, how do they correct for the differences?"

Good question Doug. The compass is an important part of their navigation kit, and they are carrying a special compass that allows for travel in the southern hemisphere. The Magnetic South Pole is a good distance from the South Pole. It actually lies off the coast of Antarctica in the ocean, above the Antarctic Circle! It is on the move in a north west direction at the speed of approximately 10-15 kilometers per year.

Our team generally skis in a straight line, making as few deviations as possible. Thus once they establish their daily heading using GPS they can turn the GPS off and rely on the compass for the rest of the day without making any adjustments. We'll talk about another great source of navigation, the sun, in a later posting.

We haven't yet received an audio update from the team, but we will post it when it arrives. Make sure to listen to yesterday's audio report from Dennis (added today), and check back again soon for another update from the team!

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