15 miles in 15 hours
17 April, 2006 88.2833N, 78.8166W
Thin ice and open water have caused delays and major detours. We have no skis and only snowshoes, that, although fantastic in rough ice, are not as good as skis when trying to cross thin ice. We confirmed their shortcomings when Richard fell completely through thin ice into the water 2 weeks ago at -33ºC. As dry snow acts like blotting paper, Richard rolled in the snow and Conrad shovelled it over him to get rid of as much water as possible. To maintain our daily mileage, Richard made the brave decision to continue travelling for 4 hours, which was tough going as his clothes were like a suit of armour and his boots like diving boots encased in ice.
Since the falling in incident, we have always thoroughly tested the ice. The last few days the new ice has sagged alarmingly with snowshoes, therefore we have had to follow leads along their edges until we can find a safe crossing point.
Our decision was vindicated yesterday when Conrad's snowshoe went through, but he was able to grab the edge of the lead and prevent total immersion.
To maintain mileage we have simply extended our days and today we have travelled 15 hours to make 15 miles.