Today was quite a marathon. We walked for 11 hours, on excellent ice and a weak wind at our backs, so we decided to put in an extra couple of hours. The result was 25 km progress. Mike and I have decided to walk at least 10 hours a day in the weeks to come, and to press on even longer on good days. A simple calculation shows that we have to conquer one degree of latitude every six days, if we’re to reach the North Pole before our food runs out. It’s difficult to stretch our supplies beyond what we’ve already done – the “slimming program” that extended our food to a 70 day total. But we believe we can do it, we’re sticking to our plan and pressing on every day. The margins are not exactly on our side, however, so those plans are very vulnerable to unforeseen developments.
Suddenly we notice how much lighter it is than just a week ago. We haven’t had a chance to appreciate it because of the “white-out” with snow and poor visibility – but today it was perfectly clear in the middle of the day. The growing light showed itself full force and that really felt wonderful!
The terrain has made it easier to progress a good distance. We’re walking on excellent ice, nice and even and flat, with little pack ice to slow us down. On the other hand, we have come to quite a few open leads today. The ice around us has been broken up the last few days’ strong winds, but now they’re once again quickly freezing closed.
This morning we crossed the widest lead of them all – more than half a kilometre wide! We donned our suits as a safety measure, and that was definitely a good idea. The thickness of the ice that had formed on the sea varied greatly, and several times it broke underneath us as we walked and crawled, pulling the pulks behind us with long ropes. It felt good to get that out of the way early in the morning. The rest of the leads presented no problems.
Well, that was today’s report. We are happy to hear that so many people are following our journey – it inspires us to be able to share this great adventure.