Day 6 on the ice
We woke up again to the usual ugly weather, blowing snow and crazy wind - nasty nasty nasty.
But first a word about last night - I think in all the weather, the drift, the arctic 'treadmill' as it is called made life a bit miserable - so we had a treat. Keith had reconstituted dried apples, I caramelized them, et voila - quesidillas became crepes a la Ross (no a la mode - though we could have reached outside the tent and added plenty of snow). Then came the Baileys (Dale) and Laphroig (Keith) - all in all we went to bed feeling pretty satisfied.
Back to today - we started out
9 nautical miles but only made 6
89.16!!!!!!!! East 138
The other group that went out at the same time as us is somewhere near us but we can't see them - apparently 2 of their team left the ice by chopper yesterday - we don't have details but hope they are well.
It was a major day of rubble - basically as you know we are on the arctic ocean - huge pans of ice that are floating - kind of like a jigsaw puzzle with space between the pieces. So these pans float along till they meet another pan and then crash, boom, they make rubble - i.e. they push up on each other and make giant sized ice cubes - some shoebox sized, some volkswagen sized - and we have to go through them......so skiis on skiis off - all morning long. In fact we did about 4 miles of work to make about 2 miles of distance in about 3 hours......
Also lots of open water - which leads me to the next challenge - apparently my horoscope today says something along the lines of relax by the water - well I had other plans - I didn't quite swim - but I came close - there was a small tilted pan of ice, some slush and unfortunately I caught a tip and down I went - left leg in up to thigh - Dale was behind me and was about to rescue me (what else is new?!) when I told him to stop as I wasn't sure if the pan would hold me, my sled and Dale as well. I tried to find purchase and put my left arm in to above the elbow. Slowly I was able to extricate myself - and all I could think of was thank God we did the dip in Ely or I would probably have panicked instead of just taking my time. Got the full slushy - lots of water in my boot - Keith (Captain Keith) said keep going - we had to get off the pan. about 5 minutes later we stopped and the team went to work. Keith found my spare liner and sock, Dirk took my boot and sock off, Michel gave me warm drink - they rubbed my foot to life, redressed the sock and spare liner and away we went - best way to stay warm is to keep moving! Now we are in the tent and I am just fine!!
Michel provided the biggest moment of humor today - there was about an 8 foot drop off into powder and he decided to do a ski jump launch - but face planted instead - I thought Keith was going to wet himself he was laughing so hard.
Finally a bit of magic about 1 hour from camp - the sun came out - we could finally see the landscape - gorgeous, somehow like the moon, shadow, sunlight low on the horizon - everyone much happier for it.
Dale has coined the best expression so far of the trip - day in day out like taking a hammer to your head, get up the next day and HIT yourself again!
Whose idea was this trip anyway?
Perhaps tomorrow could be dull????
The sun coming out
Navigating the jugsaw puzzle
Doing the rubble dance
Which way should we go?