Log in

Catlin Arctic Explorers

The Catlin Arctic Survey is an international collaboration between polar explorers and some of the world's foremost scientific bodies.

The team's second expedition to the Arctic is to examine what is widely considered to be the "other" carbon problem beyond climate change: that of ocean change. The Survey is undertaking research into how greenhouse gases could affect the marine life of the Arctic Ocean, including some species that can be described as the core of life on our planet.

The expedition is being led by Ann Daniels, one of the world's foremost female polar explorers. Accompanying her are Charlie Paton, a highly experienced Arctic explorer, and Martin Hartley, a leading expedition photographer. For more information visit catlinarcticsurvey.com

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Spring in our step

Posted by Pen Hadow
  • Friday, 3 April 2009 at 03:32 pm

We seem to have got through the unbelievable horrors of the first month now - the sun has come out and we are travelling in daytime instead of constant night. It’s still very cold - between minus 34 and 38 centigrade - but the clear blue skies and the fact we can see the sun is a great morale booster.

We’ve still got the usual bad terrain and I guess we look pretty beaten up too. But apart from the usual aches and pains we are all in good spirits.

I’d like to sing a few praises for Ann this week. In addition to the navigating and cooking she’s now become the nurse - tending to Martin's frostbitten big toe - which I am pleased to report seems to be on the mend despite being the size of a small egg whisk.

The navigating part of Ann's job is a pretty logical process (despite some recent use of frilly knickers as a wind sock!) But it’s Ann’s skills as a pathfinder that are really impressive. This Arctic marathon that we are on requires a balancing act between distance travelled and energy expended - or in our case - most progress North for the minimum amount of effort.

It’s a subtle art needing endless judgement even on flat-ish bits of ice. Ann is constantly thinking ahead and deciding whether it’s going to be best to use a lot of energy dragging our sledges over a big ice ridge - or taking a detour round it. She’s doing a brilliant job - and we had our best distance ever recently covering over 16 kilometres in a day. That was extraordinary - but nine yesterday wasn’t too shabby either.

Despite the fact the ice seems to be older and thicker than before it’s still massively active - big cracks suddenly appearing and great lumps grinding together all the time. We’ve all been caught out - ending up having to clamber off tiny floes that minutes before seemed solid!

In addition to the usual daily situation report - general stuff about temperature and how we are getting on - I also file extra technical data which includes things like snow depths and surface snow temperatures - this gets sent to the scientists alongside all the other information we are gathering.

The re-supply plane is due here in a few days and we are hoping that it will bring us new sleeping bags to replace the very wet ones that we are currently sleeping in. Not the only plane around these parts either - we’ve been over passed by a very fast military-looking plane several times over the last few days.

I’ll also be interested to hear if our April 1st prank about finding a sea container full of table tennis balls actually got believed by anybody for any length of time - I hope so!!

Spring has definitely revived our spirits - roll on summer!


RSS Atom

Report Comment

To report an offensive comment for review, please send a Personal Message and provide a link to the comment. The moderators will review it and take action if necessary.
Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by chasethestars