Now we’re in the tent again. Almost anybody can ski when the weather is fine, but it’s only the best that can make something when faced with difficult conditions and poor weather. In all humility, I think Mike and I count ourselves in the latter category. Today the northeasterly wind was coming at us fiercely, blowing 8–10 seconds per metre, and gave us a really chilly start. But we walked all day and pushed ourselves 15 km northwards, no doubt losing a few kilometres to the ice drift. When we woke up this morning, we registered that we had already lost 2–3 km compared to where we pitched our tent last night. Well, this evening there is 160 km left to go. Our new position is N88°33’51, E83°54’ 36”.
We swam over two fairly wide leads today. One of them, which was covered with thin ice, we followed for many hours, hoping to find a crossing point. Finally we came to an “island” that divided the lead into two narrower stretches. We donned our special “swimwear” and swam them. A little later, we had to repeat the procedure to cross a new 70 metre wide lead. We managed fine, really.
Very early in the day, we came to a rather narrow lead. Here we place our two pulks next to each other, making a fairly stable bridge and crawling across on top of them. A week ago I sent you a photo where we used that very same technique.
Let’s hope most of the ice movement is behind us. Tonight the wind has died down, and yet temperatures have risen to –15°C. This morning it was –24°, it was windy and cold and miserable. As the day progressed, however, the day became milder and more pleasant.
Nevertheless it has been a day with many challenges – and they’re not over yet. My right ski snapped, right under the binding. Sheltered in the tent, I cut that ski, moved the binding forward, leaving me with an extremely short ski. I think I’ll manage all right; I only need it to last a few more days, enough for us to complete our journey.
From our tent we notice how much calmer the wind is now. Perhaps both the wind and the direction of the ice drift are changing. We hope so! It would be really nice to have a few more days with improved progress.View 1 comments