I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! I spent the day heading south. It was wonderful to talk to everyone on the sat phone though.
Last night the crack in the bottom of the teapot worsened, as I was afraid it might. I tried a duct tape patch on the inside of the pot, but it didn’t work. The stove flame is so hot it burned the tape despite the water in the pot. I ended up with a still-leaking pot and water that tasted like duct tape. I don’t recommend it – duct tape tea is not good.
This morning I called ALE, my logistics partner, and discussed the situation with them. No problem, they said. They have a plane headed to the pole in 2 days. If I can hold out, they’ll drop a pot by on their way to the pole. I should be able to nurse the pot along until then. I think I’ll remain in camp today, and then try to continue south tomorrow.
Having external assistance from ALE turns my expedition from solo/unsupported to supported, but I think it’s my only choice. It wouldn’t be wise to continue with only the leaking pot – I can imagine the scenario where I’m in a week-long storm and the pot totally fails. At that point I’d be in real trouble – no way to get assistance from ALE during the storm and no way to melt snow for water. At that point the small problem of a leaky point turns into dangerous situation.
I’ll give my thoughts on “issue management” in my next post!