And now, the end is near…

Published on 10.06.2007 - The Arctic Arc

It appears that the two men are gradually leaving the area where the ice is completely disjointed. By Saturday evening, they were just 72 km from Greenland.

Thursday 7th and Friday 8th were still incredibly tough going, though, especially with those 11 hours on the march and only 6 km covered by Thursday evening! But since Saturday, reports say that the pack-ice has quietened down a little, with fewer places where the ice is overlapping, fewer compression ridges, less open water and a few more sheets of flat ice.

In any event, Friday was one of the finest days of the expedition so far, weather-wise. With a light south-to-south-easterly wind blowing in their faces, a faultless blue sky that cleared completely by 4.00 pm and a temperature of minus 3°C only, the setting was nothing short of spectacular as the whole of the Greenland coast came into view and Alain Hubert and Dixie Dansercoer slipped quietly into the final stage of their great adventure.

"We're back on old ice"

The following day, Saturday 9th June, the fine weather was with them once again – a genuine little miracle in itself. And the terrain, although still not easy, was improving all the time. Of course they still had to make their way across a few leads of open water and battle through some difficult areas, but Alain Hubert is certain that this time they are back on old ice. "We seem to have come through the boggy mass of the past few weeks in the Lincoln Sea, particularly where it narrowed," said the expedition leader by Telsat on Saturday evening. "We can see now that the ice we are on is old ice again, and so more stable. What happened in the Lincoln Sea I will never understand. But I think in any case that the worst of the problems are finally behind us and we can now look forward to the final part of our expedition with greater peace of mind."

On Sunday morning, the men only had 72 kilometres more to cover. The International Polar Foundation (IPF) has scheduled their retrieval for 15th June.

The Website of the day

In an article published in the Christian Science Monitor dated 6th January 2005, the article's author, Robert C. Cowen, wrote, "In melting Arctic, warming is now". His aim was to tell his readers that we have to stop saying the global warming might have a serious effect on the overall balance in polar regions such as the Arctic Ocean 'one day'. No, he wrote, things are happening 'right now'.

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