We had a phenomenal day. Our current location is N89°23′ E113°18′. We lost only 0.8 nautical miles overnight last night which is great, and today we skied 11.5 nautical miles and netted 10, surpassing our 8 mile daily target.
With Keith’s help, I figured out a fuelling system that works for my stomach, so I skied with a smile the entire day. But this surely is some seriously hard work. Particularly to take breaks. Breaking for more than five minutes is impossible, and even with a four-minute break, my fingers go numb and ache badly for 15 minutes until my circulation kicks in and warms them up again.
We crossed a couple of open leads today and it was eerie to look down into it, knowing 13,000 feet of Arctic Ocean lay right there, and then hear the edges of the ice crack and fall in under my weight. We also came across some pressure ridges but managed to climb over the ice blocks quickly with a little teamwork.
So I’m learning about the great outdoors quite quickly as well. Last night I woke in the middle of the night as nature called, only to hear an alarming ‘qwuish qwuish’ noise outside the tent that, after fervent listening, I concluded might be a stealth polar bear. So I woke Keith up and sign languaged to him to listen to the sound. ‘Is that a polar bear?’ After a couple seconds Keith said, ‘No, it’s the flag,’ and tucked deep into his sleeping bag. Lesson learned. Never wake your exhausted guide up for a flapping flag!
That’s all from me for tonight. Have aches and bruises that need recovering. Bed time.