Forced to wait in their tent, Alain and Dixie are moving backwards
Published on 26.03.2007 - The Arctic Arc
Bad luck for the Arctic Arc pair. Due to an awful storm which hit them yesterday, Alain and Dixie have "backed up" 21.5 km during the day.
Thank goodness the drift did not push them in a straight line south, but rather in an east to south east direction; the direction taken by this drift can be seen on the progression map published on this Web site. Southwards, they have maybe lost 5 km in all and at most. Of course, this is one of the first setbacks in the Arctic Arc's progression. But, according to the Russian route planners with whom we are in contact on a daily basis, it is not exactly a bad point. In fact, according to them, the good weather, which should be back in a day or two, should come from the east anyways.
The day had nevertheless taken a good start; but as soon as they had gotten out of the tent, they saw the clouds suddenly cave in on them. Then, an enormous snow dust (which specialists call the "snow drift") brought the surrounding visibility down to zero.
"All of a sudden, we were no longer able to see 30 metres away", explained Alain on the phone yesterday. "We even had a hard time seeing the ground 10 metres away from us. Furthermore, the wind picked up and was blowing 50 km/h in no time. As far as the barometer goes, atmospheric pressure had reached 975 hecto-Pascal's; we therefore decided to stay in our tent and to not go out for today."
But, the two adventurers are not letting this get their spirits low. Since the sky was already clearing up last night and since the temperature had gone down again (which is a sign of good weather), they decided to get out of their tents and to continue their progression as soon as sunrise.