Sunday, 1 March 2009
Sea Ice Expedition, day 1
Well it is 18.37 as I start to write this, what a day! We spent the morning going through first aid and what to do if you get attacked by a polar bear. Stories were told about bears coming through tents, which really inspires confidence when I am solo in my tent, think I will keep the bear spray close to hand tonight.
We have traveled a short distance from Iqaluit but taken a line direct through a couple of nautical miles of pressure ice. If your reading this and have ambition to do a north pole then I can not stress this enough ... Get plenty of practice on sea ice. Forget pulling tiers on the flat and on paths, its more like pulling tyres over a boulder field. It does help that we are carrying close to 100kg of kit, if not more. We have all our expedition kit plus 3 - 4 bags of 20kg dog food bags per person.
Matty is a tough trainer but this is what it is all about, nothing else compares. I keep thinking that this is only the first day, imagine doing this for 50 - 80 days, along with open water to cross. Anyone who has reached the north pole as my complete respect and admiration. Those that have reached it solo and unsupported like Pen Hadow, well I don't think there is anything I can say apart from amazing.
If the north pole is something you wish to do, do not underestimate the challenge, get you training and experience in.
We all worked exceptionally hard today and I am proud to be in this course surrounded by people who have achieved so much already and are keen to achieve more from life.
To Lydia, Jessica and Isabel. Thank you for your message, I am well and enjoying the weather thank you, nice -30 something today. Really looking forward to getting up to Qik to id some fishing and hunting, not to mention my 2 week solo expedition.
To Emily and Andy, good question about access rights. Its always important to get the right access visas for your expedition. I've had to keep in with Parks Canada, they also require a CV of previous experience. Its also always important to keep in regular contact.
Well I have eaten and and have my stove going in my tent, will get my sleeping bag out and have an early night. A very hard and challenging day but very rewarding as we worked extremely well together as a team.
Posted by Neil Shaw at 19:20