Every day is a new day
Published on 15.03.2007 - The Arctic Arc
For the past 24 hours now, the mood within the Arctic Arc expedition has somewhat changed. Even though the two men are still moving along at a good pace, they are beginning to worry about how they will recharge their batteries.
By being so preoccupied with the human being's survival and the way in which he copes with such difficult conditions, we tend to forget about the technical aspects of polar expeditions. But it really is through technical progress, namely what we call "new technologies", that these nature lovers are able to live their dream. For example, each and every day, we are able to read a circumstantial account of their progression, thanks to satellites and phone batteries.
However, these batteries, as any other pair of batteries, need to be recharged. And how might they be rechargeable? With solar panels. So, what do adventurers do in this case? During the day, while they are progressing in their journey, they tie their solar panels to the top of their sledges in such a way that they can be recharged by the sun while they ski. Such batteries of course need a certain amount of time to be recharged.
But, the problem is that, ever since the beginning of the expedition, the sun was first too low to recharge the batteries and, now that it is rising higher in the sky, it is constantly covered up by a cloudy veil. This thick coat is therefore stopping the Arctic Arc batteries from charging up. Yesterday, during the daily contact, Hubert admitted that, concerning their satellite telephone batteries, they were already using the second ones. The first ones being completely used up and uncharged, and the second ones slowly emptying themselves, they have about half a battery charge left.
The situation thus presents a crucial survival question for the team.
- They accomplished 22 km yesterday, Wednesday March 14, in 8 hours of skiing.
- For the first time now, they brought out their powerkites.
- They have collected a second scientific analysis for ESA.
- It is no longer dark during the nighttimes; a shadowy light has taken over the darkness.
- They have been averaging a progression of 18 km per day since the beginning of the trek.
- The North Pole is 657 km away.