Land in Sight !

Published on 07.06.2007 - The Arctic Arc

Yesterday was a big day for Alain and Dixie : at 11 45 am, they saw through the hazy distance a first outline of the Greenland mountains. It was an emotional moment.

And Thursday June 7th has been another important day for the Arctic Arc expedition.

First there was an almost surreal appearance: imagine, as though they had been placed upon the horizon, iridescent sun rays lighting up the blue sky timidly, but sufficiently enough to give this landscape a prophetic look. And then, suddenly, as though it came out of a magic box, the outline of the Greenland mountains just appeared on the horizon, behind the artistic blur of a faint mist. "We saw the mountains outlined over more than a hundred kilometres", declared Alain Hubert yesterday, the head of the expedition. "The scene was awesome, especially that there was, as though they were lined up in the sky, a succession of atmospheres, each one as contrasted and different than the other: a cloudy sky, a zone of mist, a strip of blue sky and the sun which had chosen its side... What a wonder, a magnificent souvenir...!"

An endless flat sheet of ice, at least!

Then they got out of the surrounding chaos. For several days now, we have been trying to describe the challenge that the two men have been immersed in. At 3 30 pm yesterday, a dramatic turn of events: Alain and Dixie come out of the icy blocks to find an endless flat sheet of ice. The two men can't believe their eyes. Without saying a word, they think: "Is the Arctic finally giving us a way out?"

We will only know in a couple of days. Meanwhile, the spirits of both men are very high. Even though there is still lots of water around them, they can finally see, for the first time, a positive outcome to their expedition. They are now only 67 km away from the inflexion point of their itinerary and 106 km away from the coast – that is, as the crow flies.

The Website of the Day

Common Dreams / Newscenter published in January 2006 a very interesting article: "Rapidly Shrinking Arctic Ice could Spell Trouble for the Rest of the World", written by Robert S. Boyd.
The published statistics send shivers down our spine: since 1980, satellite observations taken each year in September, the warmest month in the Arctic, show that the sea ice's surface has diminished at a rate of 8%/year! Creepy...

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