Bardout and His Divers : Change of Programme

Published on 24.04.2010 - Under the Pole.com

Ghilslain Bardout and his colleagues of the Deepsea under the pole.com expedition are gradually begin to realise that their progress is too slow for them to think of reaching Ward Hunt and the Canadian shore. So they will have to be recovered.

Since the start of these retransmissions of Spring 2010, we have never stopped talking, in particular, of the icecap's drift, which has been incessantly upsetting our favourite adventurers. With the Bardout team - which scrupulously notes each day the technical information of their progress or the time that they have taken - we have a new example of this godforsaken drift. On Tuesday, 20 April, one of them noted indeed:

  • Geographical position: 88°28'29'' N / 50°42'27'' W.
  • Air temperature: -21°C out of the wind, -27°C windchill (a southerly wind of 6 kph).
  • Distance covered: the drift had taken them approximately 2.8 kilometres towards the South and 6 kilometres towards the East.
  • Hours of progress: 0
  • Dives: 2

6 kilometres towards the East in a single night! Decidedly, no two years are the same in the Arctic world.

Apart from the difficulties of progressing that this team is encountering, like the other teams, of course, and the routine (if one can call it that) of diving in ever more spectacular places, as Bardout has said, the news of these last few days is that Ghislain and his companions have decided that they no longer had to knowk themselves silly by trying to get to the Canadian shore at all costs. The conditions of headway and the obsessive presence of this satanic drift on the one hand, and the fact that they were having to stop all the time to dive and thus delay their progress even more (which was already not at the speed of lightning), was making their objective of getting to Canada by their own means impossible while progressing as they currently were on the ice.

On this subject, the expedition's HQ has written: "The team is now envisaging an earlier than envisaged departure from the icecap, for obvious logistical reasons. It will soon be impossible for any plane to put down in order to recover them, with the ice in such a condition, and to get to the coast is no longer possible for them this year. Indeed, their progress so far has been insufficient: that is partly due to the state of the icecap this year, which has not allowed the envisaged progress with such heavy sledges (in particular the considerable weight of all the equipment needed for diving). In the next few weeks, the temperatures will only rise and the sun will be higher and higher in the sky, with the result that the icecap will be transformed into a gigantic chaos of ice and, finally, into interstitial waters. Moreover, one of our main missions was to bring back a visual record of this part of the world: the underwater spectacle is so fascinating and the underwater icecap so more varied even more than envisaged - that priority has now been given to diving rather than to going forward..."

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