A trouble-free day

Published on 11.04.2007 - The Arctic Arc

It was a trouble-free day, but a very difficult one too for the two men of Arctic Arc.

They woke up to very nice weather: -21°C and a hot sun. Then, one hour later, a sudden change in weather. It started to snow and a huge cover of thick clouds turned the sea ice leaden, reducing the visibility to almost zero.

As they had already started to break camp, Alain and Dixie took the decision to leave anyway. "But it was very risky", explained Alain on the phone last night, "Because progressing in such weather is dangerous. First of all, one cannot see 5 metres ahead, and then there are water holes which can be hidden by the snow and through which one can easily fall. But we left anyway. With the downright highest caution..."

During mid-day, the wind picked up and turned north obliging the two men to wear their goggles. The remaining of the day, they made headway, one step at a time, without seeing much and with the wind blowing permanently straight into their faces.

In the afternoon, they fell into a tangle of leads which had opened up in every direction, some being covered only by a thin layer of ice, others still black from the Arctic Ocean water. They thus had to slow down and negotiate the lot of passages, each one more intricate than the previous, trying one way then attempting another in order to cross these leads.

At this pace, they progressed 7 hours, accomplishing 10.5 kilometres, and set up camp in the evening 242 kilometres from the North Pole.

Resupply details

Here are a few elements of the equipment which was dropped off on Sunday April 8th in the evening.

  • 3 packages of bandages
  • 2 bottles of transcutaneous hexomedine
  • 1 set of batteries
  • 2 new solar panels
  • 1 sleeping bag
  • 1 pair of Hagloff trousers
  • 1 box of Q-tips
  • 1 thermos
  • 1 ice brush
  • 1 compass
  • 4 waterproof Hagloff bags
  • 10 plastic bags
  • 1 alarm gun
  • 10 litres of fuel
  • 21 kilos of diced cheese (Comté cheese)
  • 500 g of salt
  • 10 bars of chocolate
  • 1 kilo of Nescafé
  • 1 kilo of coffee
  • 40 packets of Japanese soup
  • 320 sugar cubes
  • Etc...
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