Whale jaws, weight training and a quick wash

Published 30.07 in category In the Footsteps of Nansen

It’s the 30th of July and we though we’d send you a new report. Today is also Day 90, so Thomas and I have now been out in the Arctic wilderness for three months. Today it’s my turn to stay at home – by the tents. Thomas is out exploring and I expect he’ll be gone all day. We have to alternate watches; because of the polar bears we can’t leave our camp unprotected. During the time we’ve been at Cape Flora, two bears have visited us. And one of them was very aggressive and difficult to get rid of. It trigged four of our alarm flares, so we only have four left. First he triggered flares around our camp, and we had to scare him away by firing our revolver. But after retreating, he expressed far too much interest in our kayaks and set off an alarm flare down there. Now we have carried the kayaks up to our tents and gathered all our belongings here.

Cape Flora is a magnificent place and there is so much to explore. There are lots of old bones here, from whales and walrus, seals and polar bears. The other day we found a four metre long jawbone of a whale! That must have been one hefty creature when it swam the seas.

We have also set up a training apparatus of sorts. We made it from driftwood and an old iron bar that we found over by Jackson’s cabin. Each day now we’re training the muscles of our torso and arms. Our leg muscles, on the other hand, got plenty of exercise during the last three months. Activity is important; we can’t just lie flat on our backs while we’re waiting for the boat home.

I was finally able to put to use a tine bar of soap that I brought from Norway. It was a bit of a cat wash, really, but I really do feel freshened up after not washing my body these last three months. That’s actually not much of a problem, and I think it’s good for the skin, which regulates itself. On the other hand, our clothes lose their insulating ability when they get too dirty and grimy. So we have also been doing laundry in a kettle that we found and brought from Tikhaya Bay.

The weather is excellent, and it’s expected to keep the rest of the week. It’s sunny now, +3˚C and a slight wind, but you can really feel the warmth of the sun.


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