Summer – and little snow in sight

Published 01.07 in category In the Footsteps of Nansen

It’s the 1st of July today, and the weather and temperatures clearly indicate that it’s summer. We’ve measured 3˚C in the shade today – and that really helps! It’s Day 62 of our expedition.

Thomas and I left Nansen’s and Johansen’s winter camp this morning, fighting a fierce southerly wind. But with a low sun, it’s been more than bearable. First we walked eastward in order to reach good ice, before continuing to the next island. Our position is now N81˚06’, E55˚.

The ice has been really wet, with no snow in sight. These are the kinds of conditions that Nansen and Johansen lay waiting for for more than a month – that it should be possible for them to walk onward with their dogs, without sinking hopelessly deep into the snow.

The rain we’ve had has washed away all the snow. There is just ice, but with countless small and large dams of water on top, as well as deep depressions and holes through the ice. But walking has been no problem.

We did, however, paddle our kayaks the last stretch, after noticing that the ice floe we were on had detached itself from the shore. Some really curious walrus came to check out what we were doing. They pounded holes up through the ice right nearby where we stood, and peered curiously at us while we put the gear in our kayaks. Then we joined the boats together, so as to be less susceptible to capsizing. As soon as we started paddling, the walrus were gone, and they left us alone as we continued.

We paddled our kayaks for an hour against a hard headwind, making our way south along Salisbury Island. Now we’re camped on a headland. The sound we crossed has been one of our longest stretches yet, and it felt great to cross it.

Now we’re eager to see what the morrow brings.

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