Day 8 on the ice – Mother nature is a tease…..
We woke up – and the first thing out of my mouth, even before the eye blinds were removed, before I thought of my morning coffee – was ‘positive or negative’ – this directed at Keith my tentmate – re drift – in fact we had drifted 1 mile towards the North Pole! Excitement was palpable. We got organized and broke camp, (much oatmeal eaten this morning), and started off.
The wind picked up and the snow started. As we marched along -Mother Nature showed her true colours…..and there was water everywhere – we lost count of the leads – everywhere we looked. It was an incredible challenge. Keith went in (twice – but he is OK Stacey). We had to use the sledge as a bridge on many occasions. I managed again to put in my left foot (but just my foot). Between Keith and Dirk there is > 1500 miles of Polar experience – we have felt safe, secure and looked after the whole time.
The ice age ranges from days (one of the leads we crossed), to about 3 years old. But overall the ice extent has been steadily diminishing in size, thought to be due to global warming. Some predict in 5 years there will be summer time free ice, i.e. there will be no structure and ships will be able to pass through the northwest passage in summer. . Thankfully we have not met any animals – as we don’t want to see any Polar Bears.
Overall we travelled 9.5 nautical miles today (so our grand total is 69.3 nautical miles) so now we are…….at 89.34.0 (i.e. for every 2 miles we work we have gained 1 mile towards the pole..) and still 26 miles away…
Mother nature indeed is a cruel mistress….
We set camp and the high point of the evening was Tomato soup with shredded Parmesan cheese – yummy. Two tents – Dale, Michel and Dirk in one; Keith and myself in the other (we are the cook tent and entertainment tent). Tonight we are back to Beef Stew. We burn about 6000-8000 calories per day, between the temperature and exertion – it is hard (but fun) to keep up.
Hoping for much drift tonight.