Day 6 on the ice
We woke up again to the usual ugly weather, blowing snow and crazy wind – nasty nasty nasty.
But first a word about last night – I think in all the weather, the drift, the arctic ‘treadmill’ as it is called made life a bit miserable – so we had a treat. Keith had reconstituted dried apples, I caramelized them, et voila – quesidillas became crepes a la Ross (no a la mode – though we could have reached outside the tent and added plenty of snow). Then came the Baileys (Dale) and Laphroig (Keith) – all in all we went to bed feeling pretty satisfied.
Back to today – we started out
9 nautical miles but only made 6
89.16!!!!!!!! East 138
The other group that went out at the same time as us is somewhere near us but we can’t see them – apparently 2 of their team left the ice by chopper yesterday – we don’t have details but hope they are well.
It was a major day of rubble – basically as you know we are on the arctic ocean – huge pans of ice that are floating – kind of like a jigsaw puzzle with space between the pieces. So these pans float along till they meet another pan and then crash, boom, they make rubble – i.e. they push up on each other and make giant sized ice cubes – some shoebox sized, some volkswagen sized – and we have to go through them……so skiis on skiis off – all morning long. In fact we did about 4 miles of work to make about 2 miles of distance in about 3 hours……
Also lots of open water – which leads me to the next challenge – apparently my horoscope today says something along the lines of relax by the water – well I had other plans – I didn’t quite swim – but I came close – there was a small tilted pan of ice, some slush and unfortunately I caught a tip and down I went – left leg in up to thigh – Dale was behind me and was about to rescue me (what else is new?!) when I told him to stop as I wasn’t sure if the pan would hold me, my sled and Dale as well. I tried to find purchase and put my left arm in to above the elbow. Slowly I was able to extricate myself – and all I could think of was thank God we did the dip in Ely or I would probably have panicked instead of just taking my time. Got the full slushy – lots of water in my boot – Keith (Captain Keith) said keep going – we had to get off the pan. about 5 minutes later we stopped and the team went to work. Keith found my spare liner and sock, Dirk took my boot and sock off, Michel gave me warm drink – they rubbed my foot to life, redressed the sock and spare liner and away we went – best way to stay warm is to keep moving! Now we are in the tent and I am just fine!!
Michel provided the biggest moment of humor today – there was about an 8 foot drop off into powder and he decided to do a ski jump launch – but face planted instead – I thought Keith was going to wet himself he was laughing so hard.
Finally a bit of magic about 1 hour from camp – the sun came out – we could finally see the landscape – gorgeous, somehow like the moon, shadow, sunlight low on the horizon – everyone much happier for it.
Dale has coined the best expression so far of the trip – day in day out like taking a hammer to your head, get up the next day and HIT yourself again!
Whose idea was this trip anyway?
Perhaps tomorrow could be dull????