Good weather, bad drift

Published on 18.05.2007 - The Arctic Arc

Ski tracks

Ski tracks

© International Polar Foundation

The good weather is back. But the downside is that the drift is moving the wrong way. This has made the men lose 3km overnight.

The ice pack appears to be decidedly stubborn. The two men have been praying for the sun to reappear. But while their wish has been granted, the drift on the other hand has decided to play up.

With the return of a wind blowing in from the South- South East direction, the ice has begun to drift northwards. As a result, Wednesday night, the Arctic Arc camp moved 4km, of which 3 km were to the north. 87°22'13" was the position Wednesday night; 87°23'41" was that of Thursday morning.

Fortunately the sun was there when they awoke, compensating somewhat for their lost ground. "Naturally we were annoyed by the loss of these three precious kilometres while we slept", explained Dixie. "But that's the ice pack for you. At least now we have the sun, which stayed with us all day, even though the weather grew was a little overcast during the afternoon. And, above all, we enjoyed an excellent terrain for about three hours: flatter ice, few ridges, no open water. All we had to watch out for were holes in the ice. The snow which had fallen during the night had covered plenty of traps for the unwitting, but we're used to that now... It was only during the afternoon that we began to face more difficulties, such as open water leads, more ice blocs, and finally a dunk through the water. Luckily I was able to grab the ropes of Alain's sledge and to haul myself out without any serious consequences."

Despite the increasing delay in the expedition's calendar (which we mentioned yesterday), the two men remain confident. They feel that progress can only get better and that, with seasons speeding up, the weather can only improve. Soon, they hope to be able to progress ten hours a day, instead of the nine they are covering at present. And if, in addition ,they can go back to their skis, this will allow for an even better progression rate, covering more ground each day.

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