Les Expéditions polaires Arctiques / Saison Printemps 2006
|Mission 1 : Top of the World (David de Rothschild et son team)
Arktichewski - pôle Nord | pôle Nord - Ward Hunt
Extraits de leur site web :
Fin d’une expédition
Après 100 jours passés sur la glace, l'équipe de l’expédition arctique Adventure Ecology – Top of the World a dû prendre la décision la plus difficile depuis son départ. Jeudi, en fin d’après-midi (EST), après une série de discussions fortement teintées d'émotion, l'équipe a résolu de mettre fin au périple. Retards dus aux intempéries, problèmes d’approvisionnement, détérioration rapide de la banquise (à cause de températures inhabituellement chaudes et du passage de la glace d'hiver à la glace d'été) : le team n’a pas pu éluder plus longtemps une réalité durable, l'impossibilité de terminer dans un délai raisonnable, et, plus important encore, le risque de ne plus pouvoir être évacué en cas de besoin.
Depuis son lancement il y a trois mois, le site internet Adventure Ecology a reçu près de 2 millions de visites. Les lettres de soutien – de jeunes et de moins jeunes – nous sont arrivées du monde entier. Non contentes d’encourager l’équipe, ces lettres ont conforté Adventure Ecology dans sa volonté de persévérer et de poursuivre sa campagne « mission possible » contre le changement climatique. Le vrai travail commence maintenant : il faut dire ce que l’équipe a vu, et surtout expliquer les actions positives que l'on peut entreprendre. Nous sommes tous une partie du problème ; soyons aussi une partie de la solution.
Ce matin, David nous disait :
« De retour sain et sauf, je me rends très clairement compte que j'ai laissé derrière moi un écosystème en train de mourir rapidement. Cent jours durant, j’ai eu le privilège de pouvoir appeler l’Océan Arctique ma maison. Cela m’a permis de constater de mes yeux les effets dévastateurs du réchauffement planétaire et du changement climatique. S’il est vrai que la plupart des écosystèmes sont tout à fait capables de s’auto-entretenir, il y a toujours un point de rupture quand les choses vont trop loin. L’Arctique n’échappe pas à la règle.
Avant l’expédition, je ne crois pas que je réalisais bien la sensibilité de nos systèmes climatiques. Quand les points de basculement et les boucles de rétroaction s’y multiplient et croisent leurs effets, la dégradation environnementale lente cède la place à une réaction en chaîne d'écroulement brutal.
A mes yeux, le débat est clos ! Le changement climatique n’est plus contestable. Si nous voulons avoir une chance de construire un avenir durable, qu'il faut arrêter de parler et commencer à agir maintenant. C'est ce que je veux faire avec Adventure Ecology. »
Adventure Ecology connaît le pouvoir du travail d’équipe et tient à remercier tous ceux qui, dans notre réseau, ont rendu la Mission 1 (expédition Top of the World) possible, contribuant à son succès. En particulier, merci à Matthew at Sky, The Royal Geographical Society, Pierre Marcolini, Fuji, Abel de Bell Pottinger, Nikon, Lifeventure, International Polar Foundation, Dan de Kenn Borek Air, Freerange Graphics, Sylvia et Katie pour votre soutien, vos efforts et votre gentillesse au cours des derniers mois. Sans vous, rien de ce que nous avons réalisé n'eût été possible. Sans parler de ce qui reste à faire... Merci.
Il reste une grande quantité de films inédits, de photos et de reportages de la Mission 1. N’hésitez pas : continuez à venir sur le site pour les dernières nouvelles des expéditions Adventure Ecology et des événements à venir. Vous pouvez aussi envoyer un message à firstname.lastname@example.org. / Merci, le team Adventure Ecology
June 3, 2006 / Water, water, everywhere!
Hi this is David for Adventure Ecology, Mission 1.
So it would probably be fair to say that over the last week I've probably eaten enough food for ten of me plus all 16 dogs... I didn't quite think it possible to eat that much but after those 7 days on mouse size portions plus 1/2 rations for 10 days prior to our delay, it seems my appetite went into overdrive and I guess I have lots of room to fill.... So for want of a better phrase, with my fuel tank re- filled, I have had the end in sight... Well I thought I did as of writing this I have just finished our 7th full day of travel since the skies opened with food, and all I can say is it's lucky food has a way of lifting the spirit as we've only managed to rack up a very slow, deep wet snow, ice jumbled 22 miles.... Yup 22 miles!! which believe it or not at one point in the not to distant past was what we were managing in ONE to two days travel ... Oh how times have changed .... But with all that said it seems that all I need to do is A) think of my loved ones B) the reasons I am here and the positive impacts that I know mission 1 is having and then very quickly the world seems round again...
The spring/summer snow and ice conditions continue to bring new challenges daily, tomorrow we would have been on the ice for 95 days and I think its fair to say that no 2 days have ever been the same and this seems to be the case now even more so than ever... Water water everywhere, where are my snorkel and mask when I need them... So I've always been aware that nature stops for nothing and now I am feeling this more than ever. Being a month behind schedule this massive expanse of floating ice that I have been fortunate enough to call my home for the past 3 months has suddenly started to transform, it's like a giant snake waking from hibernation trying as hard as possible to shed it's skin of ice for a new summer coat of open water. This daily re-shaping of the endless solid white landscape has left a myriad of cracks, twists and turns that often lead to a frustrating dead end... However as long as we don't spend to much time looking at the closed doors we will contine to see the ones that are opening helping us to inch closer to solid land.
David for Adventure Ecology
May 26, 2006 / On the move again...
GPS-pos: N 86.5251 | W 67.3308 / Distance travelled: 2.5 nautical miles
Well the phrase my eyes are bigger than my stomach has definitely come true over the past 24 hours. After a week of sitting in our tent, getting right down to our last granola bar, the sky has suddenly opened up with help from Daniel and his team from Kenn Borek back in Canada we managed to get some food dropped from the sky. The weather system was sitting above us, as you know, and kept us on the edge of our thermarests for at least 6 or 7 days, not knowing where we were going.
The good news was during that time we floated over into the 86th but we are still there now and seem to be surrounded by a lot of very broken ice which is going to make travel hard.
One of the other surprises as well is that we still have the dogs - we weren't expecting to still have the dogs on this part of the trip as we'd all made a group decision to send the dogs out so it's a bonus on one hand because obviously we all love having the dogs around but on the other hand with the conditions as they are it can also make travel very slow, so we'll have to try and monitor that and try and see if we can make up that week somehow because it comes back and bites us on the other end and we start moving into June.
More good news as well is that we've seen some sun today which I think is the first time in around 10 days that we've actually managed to see some patches of blue which hopefully will hold and bode well for our travel day today. We've just all finished a bowl of cereal and hot chocolate and really enthusiastic about another days travel, it's good to be moving again. We've still got 230 nautical miles to go which feels like a very long way but hopefully we'll start cracking on and the next big milestone will to be get down below the 200 mark and get closer to Ward Hunt Island.
May 24, 2006 / Dig up those dancing shoes
GPS-pos: N 86.5504 | W 68.1607 |
I would love to say that it was the flashing dot on your map that had frozen but sadly its's not... It's official we have now spent more time in the tent over the last week (6 days) than over the entire expedition!! It seems mother nature may have taken a little wind out of our sails but be assured definitely not our spirits!!!... So currently our daily routine consists of very little movement, apart from occasionally someone will raise themselves from their sloth like state in order to poke their head out the back of the tent to see what the weather is doing.... Often to relay what seems to quickly becoming the expedition catch phrase "I think it's getting brighter!!" which as the days drift past oddly has started to become more and more homourous.... Maybe it's the start of tent fever?...
Therefore I think it's fair to say it's at this point I have to start calling in all favours.... calling on all gypsies, elves, faries, snake charmers, mystics, magicians, phycics, voodoo gods, soup dragons, in fact anyone who has healthy tips or some mystical power... Now's the time to dust down your potion pouch, cook up those magical herbs, and start swinging those hips we need as many good weather lucky charms, dances and spells as you can muster!!!
I may jest but in all honesty I don't take this issue of good weather lightly, it seems very odd to me that probably out of the last 80+ days we have had less than two weeks of good weather.
It seems the days of consistant hi-pressure systems that bring stable good weather have passed leaving behind air circulation patterns that are becoming more unstable and less predictable.
It doesn't take the results of recent scientific studies to persuade me that the average sea level pressure has dropped, which could not only be one of the factors behind why we have experienced such unstable weather patterns but why over the Arctic in general there is now more than ever increreasing chances of higher latitude storms. It seems as a result of these changes, relatively warm spring and summer air masses from much of the Arctic coast are now able to penetrate much further across the Arctic, which could not only be another factor contributing to the ever decreasing sea ice, but one of the reasons why more sea ice is being driven away from the coast towards the central ice pack, none of which bodes well for polarbears and currently the Adventure Ecology team....
As of writing this we are still waiting for that lucky break so we can start moving again....As soon as it happens you will be the first to know.
May 21, 2006 / Tent Pie with a side of crackling!
GPS-pos: N 86.5639 | W 69.1137 |
So as predicted the sun was just around the corner having a chat with our runway... I woke up this morning with a smile on my face and luckily so far it's still here. We are currently experiencing some of the best weather we have seen for over 10 days... After speaking to our team in Canada, they confirmed that the system that's been sitting on our heads for the last few weeks was on the move!! So with our new found ability to see more that an arms length away we decided that it would probably make sense to make a little movement ourselves even if just to stretch the legs.... I am not really sure if tents were designed to be occupied for more than 24 hours at a time unless you?re a yogi... So the plan of action was simple, hot drink, dress and then have a quick scout just in case we could find a better landing strip... After a few hours of climbing up large ice chunks and skiing in circles we finally managed to come up trumps!! A runway the would make any international airport jealous ... So by now my smile had grown almost to the point of engulfing my entire face... Teeth, eyes and my wooly hat is all that could be seen... day 79 was off to a flyer, a new landing strip and enough blue sky to kit out the whole navy... So far we had managed to tick off two of the three prerequisites needed if our resupply was to go ahead... So hop back into the tent for a hot drink and a call to Canada, but before we could start bragging about our Arctic airport we were told that the weather window required for the plane to land at Ward Hunt was not happening... The satellite images showed it clearing but not as fast as the pilots had hoped, (big grin back to slightly above average grin), yet none the less it was still clearing so we should keep checking in bi-hourly for updates. So as highlighted in yesterdays dispatch the double weather system games had begun. However it was not all bad news, on the advice of the pilots the decision was made that given our good weather system the plane should be moved up from resolute to the weather station at Eureka so if the system should move so can the plane and quickly. (Approx 4.5 hours)??So with the plane all locked, loaded and ready to go at the drop of a hat we decided it would probably be a wise decision to move ourselves over to the edge of our newly found runway... ??Let's just say less wise, more luck... It wouldn't surprise me if Lady luck had been sitting in our tent... We had literally all packed up our gear and were getting ready to leave the tent. I had just stepped outside when I started to hear and feel the all too familiar sounds and vibrations that signal only one thing... The ice was starting to move... Looking down at my feet I could see what looked like dozens of little black snakes all darting and dancing across the surface of the snow... The ground was starting to crack open and fast... The little black snakes weren't so little anymore, and they were making a bee line straight for the tent.... ??Last night if you had asked me what could get 4 people out of a tent faster... A polar bear or a lead forming right under your tent... I would definitely have said a polar bear but now I am not so sure!! It seems I was wrong to presume that it is only going to be our minds cracking up waiting for this resupply... Maybe it's the Arctic's way of letting us know never to make presumptions.... ????So with tent swallowing ice 3 km behind us we are now all safely camped next to our new runway... The sky is still blue, the runway looks good and extra special care has gone into pitching our tent, so as to make sure there will be no repeats of this morning's adrenaline boost...?I am now off to bed with the most positive feeling I have had about this resupply for the last week... My fingers and toes are still crossed that all these little systems and factors will stay in the right place long enough for the resupply to happen tomorrow so we can keep heading home....???David for Adventure Ecology
May 19, 2006 / Pantastic....
So the good news is I am pleased to say we have found a very suitable runway... 300 meters by 50 meters + there are plenty of other options should the pilots not like what they see... The bad news, as expected, is that today's resupply had to be postponed due to very poor ground contrast being caused by the low pressure weather system that's been stalking us for last 5 days... luckly the satellite imagery being relayed back to us from Canada, is matching up with the local systems that we have been experiencing so although this doesn't give us the blue skies and contrast we need it's reassuring to know the pilots have good capabilities to forecast when is the right time to fly. However to make matters more interesting there is another factor that now needs to be worked into this complex equation... 10 years ago finding big multi year ice pans (large open areas of thick flat hard snow covered ice) was not such a difficult job, but due to the ever changing climate, finding these pans has now become very hard, some would argue almost impossible . Since leaving Russia 80 days ago, the one constant of this expedition has been seeing what once was obvioulsy old ice pans turned into vast fields of jumbled single year ice dispersed with open water and cracks... Not only has this hampered our travel and made the job off finding a suitable runway more challenging but it's the kind of stuff that causes every Arctic pilot to wake up in a cold sweat and lose confidence in so called 'suitable runways'. Therefore not knowing exactly what to expect from our runway choice and to minimize their chances of running out of room when landing and taking off, the pilots make sure that their aircraft is carrying as little payload as possible. Ultimately meaning calculating the exact fuel and cargo required down to the KG. Which sadly after numerous calculations means having to stop on route to re-fuel, ladies and gentleman, boys and girls please say hello to weather system number two. So today both the systems weren't any good for flying but this is not to say that this will always be the case... In Antarctica we had three weather systems to deal with which in the end caused a two week delay to the expedition !! Fingers crossed it's not that bad... Or I may really need our swimming trunks brought in!
All in all it become hair pulling stuff,which luckly for me after three months without a trim there is plenty to pull...
I will keep you posted as thing break.... (sorry bad joke)
David for Adventure Ecology
P.S All Adventure Ecology missions are carbon neutral and take every possible precaution to reduce any environmental impact that maybe cause as a direct or indirect result of the expeditions.
May 17, 2006 / Looking for a run-way
GPS-pos: N 87.1108 | W 72.0529 | Distance travelled: 11 nautical miles
Hey this is Sarah calling in for the Top of The World Expedition. Yesterday we had a good travel day and we ended up doing 11 nautical miles. It?s been very warm lately, yesterday the temperature was -4, the snow has been soft and everything is getting wet. In the next couple of days we are going to keep traveling but we also have to start looking for a run-way. We have a plane coming in soon, bringing our last supply of food, so we need to find a nice flat pan that the plane is able to land on. Its for our last supply of food and we are also sending the dogs and the sleds out and bringing pulks in. We?re about to set off to fit in another good travel day.
May 16, 2006 / Final Re Supply Plans
GPS-pos: N 87.2219 | W 74.2433 | Distance travelled: Rest Day
Good morning this is David phoning from the Top of the World, Mission 1 for Adventure Ecology. Its Monday the 15th and I?m currently watching Martin change his sunglasses lenses to a yellow lens, which means it is an overcast day- which is a shame. We have been travelling well for the last four days in the full moon period which has been unexpected but its been nice to keep moving and we are currently half way through the 87th degree which is good, on our way towards Canada. It?s a big week this week. We are expecting a re supply in and it will also signal the end of the dogs for us, apart from two. We have decided that with conditions as they are, that it may not be suitable for the dogs to go all the way which has been a tough decision for the group to make but one that seems to finally have come around. So that is going to be a very sad and emotional moment for all of us but the plan is that we are going to keep two dogs hopefully, or maybe more, as a way of polar bear protection and also to sit between us as we ski with out pulks and help us with all our gear. So that will be nice to keep them there, we will have two, we need one to keep the other one company. They get a bit sad by themselves and I?m not sure my dog language is up to speed at the moment. Anyway, so it?s a big week. We have to find a suitable run way first and we have to make sure that the weather conditions are right so that?s going to be a challenge as the systems seem to come and go very quickly so we need a bit more consistency with that. As it?s the full moon, currents under the ice are moving faster and are stronger. It means that a lot of the big flat areas now have cracked and pressure ridges formed on them which makes it harder and more unstable for the plane to land. All is good, the team spirit seems to be still at a good level and everyone seems to be pretty much blister free so that?s good- strong, healthy if not a little hungry? David phoning from the Top of The World, we?ll keep you informed of this week?s adventures on the website, so keep checking in.
May 15, 2006 / Dr Spock
I've just realised that it's now been almost 3 months since I've listen to any music. It seems my minds not very happy about this fact and has taken it upon itself to create a very randomized mental jukebox. Most morning's now I wake up with a different song floating around my head.... from Buck's fizz's 1980's Eurovision foot hopping stonker 'Making your mind up' to that old Christmas classic ?Partridge in a pear tree', it seems there is no RHYME or reason (sorry bad joke) behind these mental concerts. Ironically enough the only vague consistency I've experienced so far is Simon and Garfunkle's "The sound of silence?.... Which at a guess I would have to say has been on repeat now for probably 10 of the past 12 weeks. I have actually now gotten to the stage when all I need to do is think about the word silence and the chorus comes bursting though... And being in an environment that you cannot only hear but breath and smell silence, it soon becomes an all day musical festival. Anyway Art and Paul aside, it's only after experiencing moments of pure un-interrupted silence did it strike me how noisy our daily lives really are.... For three months the only noises, apart from those generated directly by us, is the wind and moving ice, which means on a calm and windless day you become literally drenched in silence. The smallest of smallest sounds, like the blood flowing through your ears, a page of a book being turned, the blink of an eye, a zipper being zipped, a watch ticking, a tea bag brewing, start to emerge as if they were being piped through directly into you inner ear by the latest super high definition surround sound system. For a while I tried to convince myself I had become an acoustic genius, and somehow, maybe life in the Arctic or even the dog bite had mutated my ears and left me with this new super human hearing ability? I wish!! The truth is in our everyday busy lives it seems we have lost the balance between noise and silence. In fact it's probably fair to say we rarely even take the time to listen anymore.... What do we need ears for? Maybe future generations will notice a progressive size reduction until finally we will have to shout even louder if we are to hear what's going on.... If you look at nature nearly all animals not only use their acute sense of hearing as a way to communicate but also as an early warning sign to any impending dangers... Could it be that mother nature has been making all the noises that should be alerting us to these impending dangers but we?re so engrossed in our own noise that not only have we drowned them out but we?re even struggling to communicate what we do hear.... ??Hunt the silence.... The next time you?re at home, take a look around at all the household appliances that generate a constant background hum. From phone to fridge, TV to tumble dryer by simply switching them off at the mains rather than leaving them on standby not only may you regain a little silence in your life but you can help to save your money and the environment!! Everyone?s a winner!!??Energy fact: Every electrical appliance has a phantom load, which means it uses energy just by being plugged into the wall. In the U.K if every household turned their TV's off every night rather then leaving them on standby enough energy would be saved annually to floodlight 250,000 premiership football games. ??David for Adventure Ecology.
May 14, 2006 / Moonshine
GPS-pos: N 87.3812 | W74.2351 | Distance travelled: 9.75 nautical miles
Beware of the full moon.... I thought it was only werewolves you were meant to be worried about during the full moon... seems I need to add the Arctic ocean to that list!! We spent the day twisting and turning our way through a series of noisy fast moving, cracking and constantly shifting ice blocks ... it's not all bad though... the good news is we have a southerly drift on our side which so far means the cracks are closing in our favour and we are moving closer to Canada even when we sleep.... All this said we managed 9.75 nautical miles which means only 257 to go!! Fingers crossed we can keep moving our way through this living puzzle!!
May 11, 2006 / Rotschild Food for Thought
GPS-pos: N 87.5925 | E 74.0038 | Distance travelled: 10.5 nautical miles
I have a confession to make ... I've been breaking the golden rule of expedition do's and dont's! I can't stop thinking about FOOD!!! Worryingly, last night I actually woke myself up to find the stuff sack that I use for a pillow was hanging out the side of my mouth!! Sadly it gets worse, I could pretend that it was purely an overwhelming desire to finish the expedition that's been getting me motivated every morning for nearly 70 days, but the reality is that the real driving force behind being able to tear myself away from my nice warm sleeping bag is knowing that I am only minutes away from two hot drinks and a bowl of cereal. It all may sound a little crazy but for the last 2 months I've been eating around 5500 calories a day and burning anywhere between 6000-9000 calories a day. Oddly enough this imbalance was keeping my hunger at bay nicely, but suddenly in the last week it seems I have reached a tipping point... The body and mind have got wise to the fact that I have been robbing them of around 4000 calories a day, and now they want them back!!! The mere fact that not only am I thinking about food but writing about it, should indicate that I am now in the middle of a very well orginised campaign... However all that said apart from having to continually trick my mind away from fantasising about skiing across a super size tub of icecream I think I am just about on top of it... for now.. which is more than I can say for Martin who burst into the tent tonight and tried to not only convince me that he had seen an iceblock that resembled a steak, but that he could smell freshly baked bread....I am glad I am not alone...
Anyway before I go back to dreaming about a full english breakfast here is a little brain food ....
Every year 25 million fully grown poplar and birch trees are felled in China in order to produce 45 billion pairs of chopsticks.
May 8, 2006 / Mission Control - a new checkpoint launched
GPS-pos: N 88.2744 | E 81.2125 | Distance travelled: 6 nautical miles Good morning this is David phoning for the Adventure Ecology, Top of the World, Mission 1. All is good, its Monday morning. I hope everybody had a nice weekend. We?ve been at it all weekend, as they say. We managed to do a good day?s travel yesterday, twelve and a half nautical miles in the sunshine and probably some of the best travel conditions we?ve experienced for as long as I can remember. Its nice to boost the confidence and its nice for the dogs to be able to run for once, rather than having to sit and wait at leads and cracked ice fields which make it very frustrating for us and very frustrating for the dogs; lots of stopping and starting. Got a busy few weeks ahead of us, trying to make sure we find a place for the plane to resupply us. We have about eight or ten days worth of food left on our sleds, which means they are still fairly heavy but if the conditions stay as they were yesterday, that?s not a problem. If we move back into jumbled ice fields, where we get lots of single year ice which is pushed up and cracked, then it makes it far more complicated to manoeuvre the sleds. So all is good, eveyone seems well, healthy and happy and looking forward to getting closer to Canada each day. That?s about it for the moment. So keep tuning in and thanks for looking at the website. If you get a chance make sure you go over to the education side of things: Mission Control and check out what?s going on over there. Its very exciting, we?ve just launched a new checkpoint! Thank you, this is David phoning for the Top of the World, Mission 1 Expedition for Adventure Ecology. Bye.
May 6, 2006 / Every Little bit helps
GPS-pos: N 88.4616 | E 85.5817 | Distance travelled: 5 nautical miles To start this dispatch I thought I would pinch the slogan... "every little bit helps" and when it comes to the environment I guess there isn't a more appropriate phrase...after being exposed to mother nature for over 2 months, I can now more than ever start to appreciate why the environmental message so often falls off peoples radar of issues to be concerned about. I say this because when you look at how the environmental debate is usually presented just the combination of negativity, complex multiple view points and scale make it hard to grasp. Especially now, more than ever, there is always some warning or bad news lurking on the horizon, a scientific sound bite confirming our worst fears....
"Polar icecaps are melting faster than ever", "The amount of the earth's surface afflicted by drought has more than doubled since the 1970's" ?The increase in China's emissions from 2000 to 2030 will nearly equal the increase from the entire world" "You produce an average of 11 tonnes of C02 a year" "Of the 20 hottest years 19 have occurred in the 1980's or later"
So this said if you?re anything like me, being bombarded with all these very valid yet worrying facts, figures, and comments, can often lead to an overwhelming sense of, who, what, how? What effect can I have? One person?s actions are not going to change problems this big! And I guess if I was to be totally honest with you and myself, ( not that I am not always honest with you) after being drenched in environmental scale everyday for over 2 months alongside having the luxury of day long uninterrupted thoughts I can often find myself trapped in the same mental space...which can leave me feeling consumed by a sense of helplessness, quite literally overwhelmed by all the problems .... Who am I kidding to honestly think I can effectively contribute to the solutions rather than just adding to the problems? Don't we all just fall into two camps... the arrogant and the ignorant? Arrogant to believe that we have had the power to effect the rhythm of this planet and even more arrogant to think that when we?re ready, we can just roll out some new technological solution that will solve all these problems... Or ignorant to think that there aren't any problems, and if there really are problems I can't do anything so maybe if I act dumb and claim I knew nothing about climate change someone else will sort it out.
After chasing my thoughts through my mind it always seems that there is one simple question that stands above the rest.... Can individuals really make a difference? Luckily, there's a simple answer... YES...Of course we can make a difference. I am a firm believer in the ripple effect, (change inspires change) and the philosophy that every action has a reaction. No matter how big or small an action maybe something, somewhere, will feel the effect. "every little bit helps"
So before I settle into another dinner of beans and rice I would like to leave you with one word to think about: 'Efficiency'
Not only does 'efficiency' compliment a more environmentally friendly lifestyle and the mind set of "every little bit helps" but it's also probably the single most important word in regards to effective Polar Travel. I say this because if I can become more efficient with my travel techniques and daily routines (setting up the tent, tying out the dogs, cooking food etc) I can save myself that extra valuable energy which can then be used to help keep me warmer, more comfortable and most importantly moving towards Canada faster ... and by becoming more efficient in your everyday lifestyle then we can all become part of the solution not just the problem....
Here are a few tips on how to become more efficient:
Walk short journeys instead of using the car
Switch off lights and use energy saving light bulbs - they consume 75% less electricity and save money
Use energy saving recommended appliances
Turning your thermostat down by 1?C will not only make you more energy efficient but could cut your heating bills by up to 10%
Close your curtains at dusk to stop heat escaping through the windows and put tinfoil sheets behind radiators to conserve heat
Don't leave appliances on standby and remember not to leave appliances on charge unnecessarily.
If you're not filling up the washing machine or dishwasher, use the half-load or economy programme and let clothes dry naturally instead of using the dryer
Where possible don?t stand cookers and fridge/freezers next to each other
Don't overfill the kettle - only boil as much water as you need
A dripping hot water tap wastes energy and in one week wastes enough hot water to fill half a bath, so fix leaking taps and make sure they're fully turned off!
Buy locally grown food and drink as this cuts down on air miles
Have a shower (with a water-saving shower head) instead of a bath and wash the car with a bucket and sponge instead of a hose
Buy a laptop instead of a desktop, if practical -it consumes five times less electricity.
David for Adventure Ecology
May 5, 2006 / Snow Flakes
Hi its Martin calling for Mission 1, Adventure Ecology, Top of The World. Had a couple of interesting days since the last time I left a message...a couple of days ago the snow was falling - individual snow flakes just like you see on christmas cards. Beautiful little tiny snow flakes landing everywhere and all different. The weather hasn?t been great. There?s lots of jumbled new, one or two year old ice which is like walking over a demolition site that?s been covered in snow; so not a great deal of fun but we are making progress on the Canadian side now and we?ve been talking about snacks in the camp this morning, for the rest of the expedition and possibly using pulks and getting in some tea bags for me! So looking forward to all that and looking forward to going down hill to Canada even more. Alright, hope you?re all tuning in every day and I look forward to sending some more pictures. Martin, speaking for Adventure Ecology, Mission 1, Top of the World.
May 4, 2006 / Thursday morning, update on yesterday's travel
GPS-pos: N 88.5032 | W 88.4736 | Distance travelled: 8 nautical miles
Hi this is Paul calling for the update Wednesday, May 3rd. It was a nice warm spring summer day, no wind, temperature around -6 to -9 it was almost T shirt weather. It was great for us because we can take our clothes off and cool off but its not quite the same for the dogs- they were hot and panting most of the day. They still put in a great effort as always and we managed to gain 9 nautical miles for us and we crossed onto the 88th degree which means we have 6 more degrees left before land, before Canada. All is going well, we?re very very happy that the sun is back- it allows us to be much more efficient with our navigation and route finding and it looks like another good day for today so hope all is well with you and thanks for checking in, talk to you later, bye.
May 3, 2006 / It will get brighter soon...
GPS-pos: N 88.5839 | W 91.4726 | Distance travelled: 9 nautical miles
Hi this is David phoning for the Top of The World Expedition for Adventure Ecology. All is good, we just finished breakfast, special morning this morning, managed to get some porridge mixed in with my bowl of Harvest Crunch so that was nice- feeling rather full and ready for a day of travel. We are just around 89 on the Canadian side, we?re yet to see those pressure ridge pans that we so desperately crave, more jumbled ice, bad visibility and warm temperatures so the usual travel conditions for us now. We?ve become slightly accostomed to it, I think one of the phrases of the trip must be: It will get brighter soon!...We hope it does. Visibility makes all the difference when travelling, we probably lose around 30% of our efficiency when travelling with zero visibility- it means we cant weave in and out of bad patches of ice which seem to be very frequent.
Dogs are good, looking surprisingly well, they are fatter than we expected which is nice, they are nice and healthy, making lots of noise this morning at 6 o?clock when we woke up they gave us a nice chorus- its almost perfect as an alarm clock. All is good, we had a big month in April, thanks to everyone that logged on, I think we had around 300,000 hits-so that?s fantastic, keep up the good work, keep spreading the word. Obviously we still all have the excitement of being at the North Pole and we are now working our way towards Canada. The next few weeks will be big weeks for us and decisions need to be made about modes of transport and how we keep moving if the temperatures keep on getting warmer that means more water, slower travel and more pressure on us as a team to finish. But all is good everyone says hi and keep checking in for the updates. Thanks, this is David for Advenure Ecology, bye.
May 1, 2006 / Drifting south
GPS-pos: N 89.1458 | W 96.2427 | Distance travelled: 10 nautical miles
The Sun is out and the drift is south.... a good sign for the first of may! just had breakfast getting ready to leave with very heavy sleds..... feeling good.