Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Crazy Arctic Guy, Days 7-10

I'm falling behind. Busy week at work, no internet at home until tomorrow.

Here's the latest from this week:

Sat, 28 Jan 2006 // 16:36

Latest Position: N 81°30'28.1' E 101°28'3.1' (28.1.06)
Temperature: -30° (and dropping)
Conditions: snow with cold SW wind

DAY 7: MIKE & BORGE SLEDDING ON THIN ICE...After drifting south for nearly a week, Mike and Borge are finally making progress in the northward drift but walking cautiously on the thin ice...'We've had the best day since we started! We've done 17 km in the right direction!

The weather is still very bad and the temperatures have dropped drastically to around -30°C. It has snowed all day long with cold winds coming from the south. Later in the afternoon the wind turned to the SW and brought even more snow. The snow rapidly covered all the leads and turned the icecap into a potential minefield. In the dark we cannot distinguish the differences in the colour of the icecap so have to test it with our ski poles by tapping the ice in front of us before placing our feet. Borge narrowly escaped disaster when the thin ice started to give way under his weight and the weight of his sled. We swam 3 times over open leads today while the ice was moving and quickly closing up. We are still on very thin ice and hope to make rapid progress to more stable ice soon.

Enjoy your weekend and don't forget to live while you can! Life is very short so each minute is important!'

Sun, 29 Jan 2006 // 16:14

Latest position: N 81°39'11.4' E 101°56'47.7' (29.1.06)
Wind direction: Westerly
Ice thickness: up to 60cm


We made okay progress today - the wind that was supposed to help came more from the west rather than south west, so we are drifting to the east south east. We were hoping for a drift to the north but only time will tell. Today was the first day that we did not swim. The ice has become more stable and a little thicker up to 60cm. It is more stable and travelling will hopefully become less dangerous. We are eating well and burning up to 6000 calories a day in 9.5 hours walking. At the end of the day Borge and me can not wait to get into the tent to have our food and sleep. We are using our petzl headlamps with 14 diodes all day long and have been living in complete darkness since the start of the expedition. After 8 days we are slowly finding our feet and hope to get to the north pole in 60 days time. That is if we have no problem with equipment. Best regards, Mike and Borge

Mon, 30 Jan 2006 // 15:26

Quote of the Day:'We hope that the weather conditions will settle - with the temperatures going up and down it is difficult to adjust our clothing so we need to stop frequently to put clothes off or on...'

Latest position: N81°45'46.6' E102°48'8.5' (30.1.06)
Distance to go: 919km
Conditions: Strong west winds 10-12m per second
Temperature: mild up to -10°C

NEWS FROM MIKE: At 1400hrs GMT this afternoon, Mike called his support team with an update:

We're moving slowly but surely. Today we are experiencing very strong winds of around 10-12 metres per second from the west and the temperatures have once again shot up to about -10°C. We have moved onto older ice which is good but when two masses of this ice hit together under pressure, huge mountains of broken ice appear and make it very hard for us to get our sledges over. We advanced 12 kms today, swimming over one lead and doing some ice hopping over another. We have travelled about 50 kms now and with our calculations have 919kms to go before we arrive at the Pole. We just hope that the weather conditions will settle. There has been bad weather since we started. With the temperatures going up and down it is difficult to adjust our clothing so we need to stop frequently to put clothes off or on. Borge and I are being very cautious - you need to be in these conditions.

Southerly winds are predicted for tomorrow. That'll be good!!!!
Regards from Borge and me!

Tue, 31 Jan 2006 // 15:17

Quote of the Day:'If the bear sets off the gun I hope we will wake up before it is too late...'

Latest position: N81°50'6.3' E103°53'6.2' (31.1.06)
Distance to go: 907km

Since starting the expedition 10 days ago, Mike & Borge have been pushing hard but have only been able to progress 97km in the right direction (north). This is due to the drifting icepack which has been taking them south for the majority of the trip so far. Hopefully the icecap will change direction soon...

EMAIL FROM MIKE: We have had very strong winds and cold temperature today with broken ice and arctic water. One of the photos I have sent shows the polar bear trip wire we set up, it is connected to a gun, so if the bear sets off the gun I hope we will wake up before it is too late. We're still drifting to the south east at 0.8 km/h. When will our luck turn...Best from a cold tent


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