We have walked 17 km today and the direction of the ice drift is still working to our advantage. Our position is N82?28’38”, E105?57’43” – it’s encouraging to be almost halfway to the 83. degree latitude. We can feel that the thermometer shows a constant –36?C, but we manage fine as long as we’re moving.
I’ve found a great system for keeping my body warm: long woollen underwear, then woollen shorts and long synthetic netting underwear over that again. On my torso, I have a thin wool top, as well as a netting top onto which I have sewed thin fleece arms. That really helps keep my arms warm, so I get good circulation and warmth to my finger, without sweating too much on the rest of my upper body. It’s superb. My hands are protected by woollen mittens, then thin fleece mittens, and finally a pair of windproof mittens. And of course I have full facial protection. I use a windproof vest and an extra windproof jacket to regulate my body temperature if there’s a breeze for any length of time.
It’s been a good day for us. The ice was a bit chaotic first part of the morning. But the light is magnificent! There are several hours of twilight in the middle of the day, and the moon is almost full. All day we’ve been able to see our surroundings and find the best path through the ice. We’ve veered eastward on fairly flat stretches of snow and ice, in order to avoid areas of difficult block ice – and that really helps us progress. There may not be enough time to read a watch, but we can distinguish the contours and contrasts of the illuminated ice well enough to choose a good path.
I mentioned that the moon is waxing – we also see the most incredible blue vault when we turn and look south. And there’s a reddish violet tinge nearest the horizon. It’s only up here in the Arctic and at this time of year that you can experience a sky like this.View 3 comments