Chilling out on the North Pole

Published 22.04 in category North Pole 2008: Three Expeditions

I must admit that we have had a most active and entertaining day. We did, however, get off to a late start, not leaving camp until 1pm. The camp, which we had shared with the Russians, had long since drifted far from the North Pole.

Our first chosen task was to find an open lead of seawater – and we didn’t have to walk far. The wind and currents had broken the ice on a lead that we encountered, leaving sever or eight metres of open water. We were lucky, because now we all got a chance to test the special watertight suit. Everyone took a swim. It was quite an experience.

Then we set up our tents and turned our stove on max. It was time for an ice bath! We all ran from the tent, jumped into the sea, which was incredibly invigorating. Granted, it wasn’t the longest swim we’ve had, but it was great fun. And it’s the first time I’ve done this up here.

A little later, after we stopped shaking, we had a shooting competition, using Lars’ 9 mm Glock pistol. Believe it or not, we even had targets in our luggage. Peter won just one point ahead of me. Fortunately, I saved my honour by winning the beach volleyball tournament.

As I mentioned, we’ve had a very active day, and a highly fun and entertaining one. A few minutes ago we were informed that we are being picked up here at around midnight Norwegian time, and being flown to Ice Station Barneo, where we shall spend the night. It will be good to reach that position. The aeroplane to Longyearbyen is scheduled to take off at 4pm tomorrow.

While we’re waiting for our flight, we’re 27 km from the North Pole. Today we only walked 2 km. Until we are airborne, the drifting ice is providing our transport. It’s sunny here, clear weather, –16˚C and rather windy.

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