A Polar ‘whiteout’ is a beautiful experience it leaves everything to the imagination.
A full moon has a huge effect on bodies of water like oceans and lakes but here where the Arctic Ocean is frozen solid, the sounds of a roaring sea are muffled into winter still, even here at 88 degrees of latitude the full moon has impact. Three days before, the ice starts cracking due to the gravitational pull of the moon and forms into pressure ridges, tucks and pulls and leads are formed. Since the start of our expedition we cross maybe on or two a day but today we crossed a dozen because of the full moon. We are lucky because the majority of the leads are frozen and we can walk across them but if the temperatures would have been a little higher, the crossings would be challenging and very time consuming. The leads may stay open a few more days and then close again as ice will push it together. The storm has abated finally and high pressure is building. Wind has shifted to the North and we skied 21 km today with the wind in our back, a record. A nice chance from last week’s painful experience of skiing in the wind. As we sleep, the drift will take us further south and hopefully soon we gain some more west. A. Very inspiring and optimistic day indeed, lets hope there are more on the way.
Skied 21km today, assisted by a NW wind pushing us towards Greenland. We picked up 3 degrees of longitude, currently at 59W. The surface was mostly flat again and very knobby, a difficult surface to ski on and I have sore feet as a result. Also crossed many narrow leads, bridged one using the 3 sleds. Full moon at work.
622km to Canada. The one characteristic of our team that stands out above all others is laughter. Every day someone, if not all of us, is squealing with laughter over a joke, something silly said or a misfortune. We are a happy bunch, optimistic and compatible. We all find it tough at times but not a complaint from anyone. Pic of Bernice and Martin crossing a frozen lead.