Longing for Swiss chocolate – and for the plane to pick us up

Published 30.03 in category North Pole 2006

It’s the 30th of March and, well… To be blunt we’re bored to death here on this base. There is nothing to read. It’s certainly a new and uncomfortable situation for us to suddenly have nothing to do.

Mike and I are now in a super-hot and extremely crowded tent with 10 parachute jumpers – so there isn’t exactly a lot of space to move about. We’re here to warm ourselves. At night, however, we retreat to our own little tent in order to be by ourselves and to get some fresh air. It’s far to hot in here, too much noise and too many people. If you’re used to being alone for a long time, you need a soft transition. We definitely notice that, but it isn’t exactly easy to find solitude here at the base. Both of us are really looking forward to being picked up.

That package that Cathy sent from Switzerland, with chocolate and fondue and lots of good food – well, it hasn’t arrived yet. There have been to airdrops, with tractors, fuel and all sorts of other stuff. But no package for us. It’s probably stuck in Moscow; an unfortunate logistics failure. That, of course, is not really so important…

The important thing is to be happy for what we have done, what we achieved. I’m just giving you a glimpse of status and conditions. We know, of course, that we have nothing to complain about, not really…

There was a small surprise last night. We were lying in our tent and it was very quiet. Not gust of air, one of the calmest days we’ve had. Suddenly there was a loud bang and the tent shook. I quickly grabbed my revolver, thinking that a polar bear had snuck into the base. It turned out that it was only the tent pole breaking, for no reason at all. Perhaps it was some kind of last farewell from the Arctic winter. Well, we left it that way all night – and I don’t know if I’m motivated to repair it at all. Seems to me that I’ve repaired enough tent poles on this trip. Certainly there is something very wrong with the metal alloy that can’t take the cold.

That was a brief status report. The tractors are certainly working. The Russians have worked hard and cleared a nice runway on the ice – everything is soon ready to receive the aeroplane that is landing in a few days.



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