A hard day of zigzagging

Published 09.07 in category In the Footsteps of Nansen

We’ve reached 9 July and it’s Day 69. How time flies! The position of our camp is N80˚28’, E53˚28’.

It’s been a hard day. We made our goal, the southern tip of this island, but we really had to struggle to reach it! Thomas and I have been wading in water that reaches up to our ankles, while wearing skis on our feet. There are dams all over the ice, and we’ve tried to walk zig-zag between patches of snow and dams of water. The two of us have progressed 28 km – but I assure you that we’ve walked considerably further than that!

It’s not that we’re in a hurry. That’s not why we pressed on. But we have to crossed the water all in one go, because it’s simply no fun having to camp out there on the thin ice. And today the ice was in much poorer condition than yesterday. It supports us surprisingly well, although we do peer down into black sea through all the holes we pass. Twice today the ice has cracked beneath our skis. Within a couple of weeks I am sure it will be impossible to walk here.

Due to the current around the headlands, there are many wide cracks that spread out like the branches of trees. Nansen and Johansen were able to walk on the ice along the outer shore of this island – but they were here a whole month earlier than we are. After spending the winter in the icy wilderness, they started moving south a soon as spring came. We passed the stone hut where they stayed. So the conditions were considerably different from ours, with much better ice that made it easier for them to ski, and…

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