gadget shop

21 April, 2006    88.9500N, 78.6333W
The next few days will be a race against time, to reach the Pole before our pick-up deadline.

The unseasonably bad weather of 17 days of virtually zero visibility in April has made us decide not to rely on our pick-up by a light aircraft from Canada, which requires good visibility to land on the ice.

We could not wait at the Pole for the weather to clear, as we do not have enough food and fuel. The only alternative is to be picked up by a Russian helicopter from the floating ice station at 89 degrees. This station closes at the end of the month, so we have to move fast to get to the Pole in time and hope not too many obstacles are thrown in our way.

Having decided to forego rest days, to meet the tight time deadline, we are both very tired. All we do is eat, sleep and travel. We are working to a 26 hour clock, to squeeze more travel into each day.

As we have both suffered badly from swollen faces, due to the intense UV, we have made full face masks out of our head-overs, which make us look like bank robbers. Conrad's eyes were so swollen 2 days ago, he could hardly see.

Previous Dispatches

15 miles in 15 hours    17 April, 2006
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 confi

Sun, moon and blizzards.    13 April, 2006
We had a 24 hour blizzard yesterday, which forced us to spend the day in the tent. It was so strong that it was blowing the shovel out of our hands as we tried to build a wall to protect the tent.The


Could this be Global Warming?    9 April, 2006
We suffered a setback 3 days ago, when we discovered that our damaged fuel container from a couple of weeks back had contaminated our food. We are not sure how much food is involved. The taste is unpl

Later dispatches - Previous dispatches