They reached the Pole!
Yesterday evening, after an already long day dodging leads and sometimes heavy pack-ice, the team pitched tent for dinner and agree on the strategy forward. They were only 8 km from the Pole, but if they went to bed and continued the day after, they would have drifted past it.
The drift the last days has been around 5-600 metres an hour, yesterday mostly to the east, which from their position gradually would have carried them further and further away from the North Pole. This would then have resulted in walking against the drift the day after.
So the decision was easy; Something to eat and then pushing for the Pole. During the night they made it, barely. The Pole was only one metre from a huge lead of open water!
But they did it, and after the photo session it was time to celebrate in the tent. North Pole cake of various sorts, whiskey and cognac was mentioned, and then a good and well deserved sleep.
What has happened today is still a bit unclear, but Bengt called in and said they could be picked up and flewn back to Barneo and further to Longyearbyen on an evening flight. As far as I know Terry and Eivind have said yes to this offer, while Bryony and Bengt will keep on skiing until the scheduled flight on the 21st.
Reaching the Pole is of course important, so the focus has up to now been fixed at this goal. It is however often in the days after, just skiing and exploring in the ice with no real goal, one gets the best photos and video.