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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 :

April 27, 2006 / On Top of The World! (literally)
GPS-pos: N 89.5959 | E 131.3941 | Distance travelled: 10.7 nautical miles
Hi this is David phoning for Adventure Ecology on the Top of the World expedition - on top of the world!
We've finally made it to the North Pole. Its been 57 days of pushing and we made it this afternoon, 4.30 our time which was around 11.30 am your time Thursday the 27th. Its been a trip that has gone up and down emotionally and physically. Its been exciting and to be here now is a real milestone in this expedition. It makes me think how far we've come but also makes me realise how far we've still got to go! Its roughly around 800km left to reach Canada. We've already started moving towards Canada with the drift which is nice on our side. The weather was beautiful today as we arrived at the pole but its now closed in to give us our usual white-out conditions which should make for interesting travel tomorrow.

I just want to thank everyone who has over the last few months visited the website and supported us. Special thanks to Katie and Caroline in my office who have been keeping the ship sailing and keeping the expedition on the road. It really is a special moment for the Top of the World expedition to actually be on top of the world! Looking forward now to reaching Ellesmere Island in the next month to complete the first expedition for Adventure Ecology.
Keep tuning in for more updates and we'll let you know how we're doing. Thanks, this is David for Adventure Ecology, 90 degrees north on top of the world. Thank you, bye bye.  

April 26, 2006 / Almost on top of the world!
GPS-pos: N 89.4835 | E 141.4203 | Distance travelled: 16 nautical miles
Hello this is Martin calling from Mission 1 on Top of The World for Adventure Ecology. Its been a long day today;the 26 April. We've done 16 miles and I think there's another 11 and a half to go until we reach the Pole. I've been here for a few weeks now and every day is the same - the landscape doesn't change its just the detail and that changes every few hundred yards. Most of the time we've been walking in poor visibility or mist. Its like living inside a glass of milk and walking on polystyrene tiles all the time.

Its still incredibly beautiful and the water when the ice breaks open is inky black and sometimes you see what look like beautiful pure white feathers. They are pure salt crystals and they taste disgusting - absolutely pure salt. Every so often we come across a lead that's opening up or sliding across another and it makes noises - whistles and bangs. Sometimes it sounds like a train going past a few hundred yards from us - just incredible.

Its impossible to believe that you're walking on the surface of the frozen ocean. When its bad weather it feels like you're walking down a wide valley with mountains on either side because there's dark sky on the left and sometimes the dark sky on the right. Its impossible for me to imagine that I'm actually almost on top of the world. The only way I can do that is by putting a picture of the planet in my head and thinking of the top bit of the planet and that's really the only way I can grasp the concept of being on top of the world. Its an amazing place and it will be such a shame if it all melts.
Well then, I'm off to bed - its midnight!  

April 20, 2006 / Martin's first dispatch
GPS-pos: N 88.5900 | E 124.3740 | Distance travelled: 10.5 nautical miles
Hi this is Martin calling in from almost the Top of the World on the mission 1 of Adventure Ecology, I flew in about 8 days ago to meet the team on a re-supply, the weather has been everything from beautiful crystal clear sunshine to visibility dropping down to about 30 metres. The landscape is absolutely pristine - huge great blocks of ice everywhere, weaving in between them and across leads sometimes the ice is very thin and bends like rubber when you cross it and sometimes it's just water and so we have to find our way across these rivers within the ice. It's a maze of beautiful white and blue snow crystals and formations, every day is the same, the routine's the same, but the complications of navigation and getting from A to B are always different. It's a beautiful place, we're about 71 miles from the geographic north pole, so quite a way off in terms of days of travel, the dogs are looking fit and healthy, the team are looking a bit shabby, but that's to be expected and I'm looking forward to the rest of the expedition with them. I hope you're doing well back home and checking the website every day, I'll be back in touch soon, thanks a lot for listening, bye for now.

April 18, 2006 / Moving on up
GPS-pos: N 88.3931 | E 117.0440 | Distance travelled: 9.5 nautical miles
Hi, this is David phoning from Mission 1 Top of the World Expedition for Adventure Ecology. It's Tuesday night, 18th April, Happy Easter to everybody who's checking in. I'm sure you all ate lots of chocolate, we eat chocolate every single day so no excuses for us. It would be nice to have an Easter Egg, no Easter Bunnies up here. Travel has been incredibly slow over the last five days, we've been battling lots of bad visibility and southerly drift, which has caused our progress to be very slow. The snow was very heavy and it causes the dogs to get tired rather quickly. The full moon was on the 13th and that also caused some problems because of the tidal currents underneath the ice pushing it up, creating massive areas of broken ice and leads. Coupled with the warmer temperatures coming from the south, this means that the leads which would normally be frozen aren't, causing us to slow up when we get to the leads in order to try and cross them. We've had a few running East-West which is the worst type of lead because it goes straight across our path and stops us going North. It's very frustrating to do three or four hours along the side of a lead in order to cross, but we're managing to make it further North. We're currently coming up to 8841, I believe, if you check on the website and look at the funky little map. Everyone seems to be keeping a smile on their face, although a little behind schedule. I hope that you guys keep on checking in and we will give you some more updates as we move forward. About to go to bed and get into my vapour-barrier liner and my warm sleeping bag and hopefully get a good six or seven hours sleep before we start again in the morning. Dog of the day today was Martin, he's got two legs instead of four, he's doing some very good swimming techniques or balancing techniques, he managed to balance himself very well today on a piece of ice and not get himself wet, I think he's been copying the dogs so I've made him my dog of the day, not sure if you're allowed to do that with humans. Anyway, all is good, this is David phoning for the Top of the World Expedition, speak to you soon, bye-bye. 

April 14, 2006 : Make a difference!
GPS-pos: N 88.1044 | E 110.3029 | Distance travelled: 4.25 nautical miles
So I would like to start with a few announcements: First, Happy Easter from Adventure Ecology... I hope you all have an EGGstremely good time. Second, it's taken me 27 years or so to figure this out but 9 or 10 times out of 10 your mum is always right, so I am under strict instructions to keep these blogs a little less informative on the daily habits of our 4-legged friends (you would have needed to have read the previous blogs to pick up what I am referring to) the third announcement is very, very worrying, so I hope you?re sitting down. If you?re reading this on your computer then there's a good chance you are so I will continue.


You can call it whatever makes you feel comfortable, climate change, global warming, a cyclical trend, green nonsense, solar flare, wobbly axis - whichever side of the fence you sit on, there is no denying something is amiss, when for the last two days the temperature here has only got down to -6C (last night -4C - +7C in the tent). Sorry I will say that again so you don't think your going crazy -4C! Just to put this in perspective, at this time of year it should be in the region of -25C to -30C. The current temperatures are similar to what I was experiencing in Greenland at the end of May/early June. If I was to tell you that last night, only 120 miles from the North pole in early April, I was so hot cooking dinner in the tent I ended up only wearing my underpants (Sorry Mum!) so I could keep cool. No you don't need to check the date of this blog to see if this was an April fools joke that had been posted late and no you can't just try and dismiss these facts by saying "well he must be reading his thermometer wrong, he must just be experiencing some weird side effects of living in a freezer (now fridge) for the last month." If it makes you feel comfortable you can call me crazy or a liar or most probably a crazy liar but either way this is bad, bad, bad news! I am not a climate scientist or a glaciologist but it couldn't be clearer in my mind we have to stop talking and start walking - we need to act now! Plus - a top investment tip: I would put your money into anything that floats and waterproof clothing!

Big deal - it will only affect polar bears, won't it?
If it isn't obvious enough that something is amiss when using the words ?hot? and ?North Pole? in the same sentence, let?s not forget to take into account that the Arctic's sea ice is a major driver of global weather systems. The light surface of the ice reflects solar energy away from the Earth and acts as a natural refrigerator for the planet. Ice and melt water from the Arctic Ocean have profound effects on ocean circulation patterns on the North Atlantic, and from there to ocean and other climate systems over the entire planet. So, as they said in some Hollywood film "You can run but you can't hide"

Well what does this all mean? What can I do? What has this got to do with me? It won't affect me, will it?
Maybe it will, maybe it won't. However with very little effort I think you will be amazed at how by simply making small everyday lifestyle adjustments you can have a truly global effect!

An example of this, is something we all use almost everyday and is one of the biggest household energy guzzlers: the kettle. The energy used to boil one kettle of water could light a room for an entire evening. On top of that, most of us heat more water than we need and sometimes boil kettles more than once before actually making that cup of tea. So how about starting by only boiling the amount of water you are going to need! You see, it?s simple.
David for Adventure Ecology

April 13, 2006 : Warm temperatures
Hi it's Paul calling with today's update on Thursday April 13th. I'm trying to sound very very happy and I hope it's going to work because we had a pretty depressing day. We travelled in near blizzard conditions, it's very warm out here, it was -6C last night and after about two hours of travel we hit a lead which took us about three hours to get across. We finally did but one of our sleds partly went in the water so that added a little moment of stress and excitement. we did get across and then we travelled for about an hour and and a half afterwards in pretty much a total whiteout, we had to stay very close to the skiers so it's been quite a difficult night we only gained 3.5nm in about 7.5 hours of travel. Probably the most challenging aspect of today is the warm temperature, it's only -5C to -6C and it's actually very humid. We're sitting in the tent and we're wiping down the walls of the tent because it's just full of moisture and condensation and it kind of drips on us. So we hope that very very shortly we will return to the good old arctic weather of -15C to -25C and be back in winter instead of spring/summer. Hope you folks are doing well, thanks for tuning in and hope we have better news tomorrow. Cheers, bye-bye.

April 11, 2006 : 88th parallel
GPS-pos: N 88.0040 | E 102.3817 | Distance travelled: 13 nautical miles
Hi this is David phoning from the Top of the World Expedition for Adventure Ecology. Very exciting moment, lots of exciting things going on up here. We managed to reach the 88th parallel, which is great, crossed the degree this afternoon about two and a half hours ago so everyone is in a good mood, tucking into lots of treats and it?s a doubly special day because we managed to reach the 88th and we are also being re-supplied, or fingers crossed, we hope so. The weather does not seem to be on our side and hasn?t been. We worked out that for the whole of the 87th we were in very poor contrast conditions with the southerly weather system bringing bad weather as we speak and we hope that the helicopter will be able to find us in this low cloud cover. Apparently the last time they had a few problems so who knows what?s going to happen this time. I hope they do find us because we have already tucked into tomorrow?s chocolate, the dogs haven?t got any more extra food apart from half a cup? so it will be interesting if it doesn?t land, but fingers crossed it will and I will phone back with an update once we hopefully are re-supplied. This is David phoning from the Top of the World Expedition.  

April 8, 2006 : Fire in the tent!
GPS-pos: N 87.26 | E 97.24 | Distance travelled: 14 nautical miles
Hello this is David phoning from the Top of the World for Adventure Ecology. All is good, we did a nice travel day today. It started off bad we?re still being chased by the southerly which is causing poor visibility, making it awkward and slow for us to travel. But the pressure system seemed to lift very quickly around the last two hours of the day, which gave us some time to make up some mileage and complete 14 nautical miles. So it was a good day. We are now three travel days away from our next re-supply which should be around the 88 mark which will be very exciting- to get across the 88th degree, meaning we are then only two degrees away from the north pole. Everyone seems to be happy, the sun is out which means our sleeping bags are out, drying out which means that hopefully some of the moisture which has collected in the down and turned into ice crystals will break up and mean that we sleep slightly warmer. Although the tent is now sunny which means that it is slightly warmer which is always a good sign. Going to eat dinner as always- going to be a nice big bowl of spaghetti. Everyone says hi, the dogs say hi and as you may have heard on the last update, Paul put down that there was a tent fire- all was under control, just another bit of equipment that I seem to have burnt- a pair of my trousers. I think that adds up to about 15 items now that have seen the MSR stove and been tickled by the flames causing me to have a lot of melted gear. But everything is under control, we?re all happy, the tent is in one piece and I look forward to the next time I send you guys an update 

April 5, 2006 : Dumb dog of the day!
GPS-pos: N 86.4416 | E 93.5759 | Distance travelled: 9.5 nautical miles
Hi this is David phoning from the Top of The World Expedition. Good evening, or good morning wherever you may be checking in from. We had a mixed day, interesting day of travel, we did 9,5 Nautical Miles which is a little below our average- I think Paul was skiing a bit slow - I don't know what happened. no I'm joking. he's nodding his head. The conditions: we have a southerly coming in at the moment, which causes a contrast, a drop in visibility which has been pretty poor, its very hard to recognize where the bumps and lumps are. We've got a northerly, a north east drift as well, pushing us forward which is kind of nice but also causing a few problems a few cracks in the ice. We came across a lead today which was very interesting. We scouted along the lead for about 45 minutes and then Paul came across an ice chunk in a narrower part of the lead which we all looked at and jumped up and down on a few times, realized it was possible to move it, so we stuck an ice screw in, we used our poles and our skis, we started pushing, jumping, pulling, doing all those sorts of things and it dislodged itself from the side of the lead and we managed to get across to the other side so we then decided to use that block as a ferry system, pulling two teams across one at a time. All was good we managed to get everyone across safely and in the process there was a some inspiration by one of our dogs Tamarack, who decided to do a full swan dive directly into the middle of the lead while he was sitting on the block of ice so from now on we are also going to have an award, instead of 'dog of the day ' its going to be 'dumb dog' and so he's holding the 'dumb dog' award at the moment and taking it away from another dog called Bartlet who is very sweet but often ties his back legs together! Anyway all is good we're just off to bed, we've had out short bread, we've had all our food and hopefully we will start moving forward to our next re-supply back up to 15 Nautical Miles or around that hopefully tomorrow. Sarah is going to be guiding, leading the way with the ski-ing, scouting the route, its her turn tomorrow and me and Paul will spend all day talking to each other, hopefully and making some progress. All's good take care, thank you, bye! 

April 4, 2006 : Qimmik - dog of the day!
GPS-pos: N 86.3451 | E 92.3339 | Distance travelled: 14 nautical milesGood evening this is Paul calling for the update for Monday April 3rd. We did 15 Nautical Miles today, 15 big ones, excellent travel day. Sarah was leading and navigating on skis ahead, I was driving the front team and David was driving the second team, both of us on skis as well, holding onto the handle bars at the back and skiing along. It?s quite nice and relaxing on the flat and a lot of hard work when we are going through pressure ridges and jumping onto leads and so forth, with skis on but it?s a day?s travel. Dog of the day for me today: Qimmik. Qimmik is the Inuit word for ?dog?. He is a big friendly white dog, he runs on the second team, sometimes he runs at lead, at the moment he is running on a blue line which means kind of three dogs back. He pulls really hard, most of the time and the special thing about Qimmik is that he was born on Sarah?s birthday quite a few years ago so he?s basically her dog, her favourite dog, she likes him a lot. So dog?s are doing well, they?ve recovered from the hard day we had travelling on the lead and pulling steady so that?s it, that?s all, we?re going to bed and thanks a lot for tuning in folks its great to know that so many of you are listening to our updates from the Arctic Ocean, goodnight. 

April 2, 2006 : 86 parallel
GPS-pos: N 86.0542 | E 90.1323 | Distance travelled: 9 nautical miles
Hi this is David checking in for the Mission 1, Top of the World Expedition for Adventure Ecology. It?s the 2nd of April all is good. March has gone, it was an interesting month! We just want to thank everybody for all their support and for visiting the website. We had over 270,000 hits from you coming and looking and checking in on us, which was phenomenal for our first month, very exciting, I hope you have all been finding it interesting. Tomorrow will be one month since we?ve been on the ice. April is a big month for us, a very busy time for us, kind of a make or break month I think for the expedition, from our point of view. We?ve got the North Pole coming up sometime toward the end of April, Hopefully around 21st, 22nd of April. And then we start heading off into Canadian waters, or heading towards Canadian waters, so it will be a big month, hopefully we will make up some good progress between 88 on the Russian side and 88 on the Canadian side. But all is good here. Today we passed the 86 parallel which was great. We managed to eat some beef jerky as a celebration and fry up some more salami. It was a nice travel day, we managed 9 nautical miles. We gave the dogs half a day today so we did only 3 and a half hours instead of our usual 6 or 7 and a half hours of travelling. We felt they were looking a tiny bit tired, maybe a tiny bit dehydrated from the lack of water. One of the interesting things out here is obviously everyone must think: how do the dogs drink ? well they actually just eat the snow and re-hydrate themselves. We also melt the snow for water. We have to look for snow which is slightly deeper, anything too close to the ice is salty and tastes funny ? makes the harvest food works taste worse than it is! But all is good the mission is moving forwards. I hope you guys get a chance to go and check out ?Mission Control Room? I hear they are about to launch checkpoint ?L? so very exciting over there. 

March 31, 2006 / Bert and Ernie
N 85.4348 | E 89.5656 | Distance travelled: 15.5 nautical miles
Hi, it's Paul calling from Top of the World Expedition on March 31st. We had an awesome day today, we reached the halfway point between land in northern Russia and the North Pole and we celebrated with a small bowl of M&Ms. We also came onto a massive massive lead but luckily for us it was frozen enough for us to travel on it and heading in a northern direction so by the end of the day we had gained 15 and a half nautical miles, so were quite happy. Dog of the day for me today is Ernie, another polar veteran. He came to the North Pole with me in 2000 and also went last year with Barclays Capital so this is his third visit on the Arctic Ocean. Ernie has a brother on the other team called Bert, Ernie and Bert, and what characteristics Ernie has is he has tremendous drive. He runs on the second team and if the sled gets caught on a steep pressure ridge, you just have to call his name "Come on Ernie, come on!" and you see him dig in the snow and just pull that sled up and over pretty much by himself. That is a great great asset to have but every once in a while when you want to stop the sled and Ernie feels like he wants to keep going forward, well he doesnt stop and he keeps going...but anyway thats Ernie, a great dog and he is sleeping with us here just beside the tent. That's it for today, good night and good luck, and we hope that you will keep us in mind and pray for good ice for us for the next few days. Bye bye. 

March 28, 2006 / A Slow start...
GPS-pos: N85.0034 | E90.5929 | Distance travelled: 13 nautical miles
Hi this is David, we had a good day of travel today and ended up doing 12 nautical miles - which was more than I expected. We had a slow start, but got in the tent and had done 12, thought we were more likely going to do around 6. Still finding it very hard to judge the actual travel days, how far we go. It was nice to get into camp and the sun was still up which makes a big difference. When we went to bed last night the sun was just about peeking over the horizon still, which is nice. Getting into bed is always a nice time, its one of the coldest times because you let all the warm air out of the tent whilst we are getting into our bags, but its nice because the sun now seems to warm the tent in the morning? (unfortunately we lost the connection with David here) 

March 26, 2006 / Making and breaking camp
GPS-pos: N84.3528 | E90.3636 Distance travelled: 10 nautical miles
Good evening, its David phoning from the Top of The World Mission 1 Expedition, hope all is well. Had a good day?s travel, and as you all know by now, we?ve got lots of leads and food and all those things we usually have, but tonight I am going to try and talk about something different and give you more of an insight into what we get up to. So I am going to talk about breaking and making camp. That is the two times a day when you can get cold- when you take the tent down and when you put it up. Putting it up its ok getting slightly cold because you know you?re about to jump in it. Putting it down its a bit annoying if you get cold because you often are standing around pulling up snow pickets or pulling the tent, folding it away and you?ve got a day?s travel ahead of you so its not good to start cold. Its quite a procedure, we usually have two people outside, working on the tent while one person starts inside and gets the stove going and gets the hot drink going so when the other two people come inside they can drink a hot drink straight away and get warm. The tent is pretty spacious, I?m 6?4? and I can lie out flat in it and its pretty amazing to me still that you can sit with only a couple of millimetres of fabric between you and the outside and actually be quite comfortable. We have the stoves going inside the tent which according to a lot of people who camp is a big no no, but we are pretty confident that we won?t burn the tent down not so confident that I am not going to continue burning my clothing! But, still manage to have all my fingers and toes and all the clothing that I need. Well making and breaking camp is something that I enjoy. Its one of those things that you get into a habit and a routine, everybody knows what they are meant to be doing, but it still can be pretty cold. All is good with us, we had a beautiful day, nice sunny day actually. We?re starting to get a bit of heat from the sun which means the tent also gets heat inside from the sun which is nice and the light is up all the time...
Sorry we lost the connection with David and the team here.....more to come later.

March 25, 2006 / Dog of the Day
Hi its Paul calling from the Top of The World Expedition. A good Saturday today. We managed to get across this big big big big lead that was the good news, the bad news is we only managed to do 5.5 Nautical Miles. But at least we?re across and it seems like we?re on good terrain. A few words about our furry friends that are travelling with us. We?ve got 16 Canadian Inuit Dogs pulling two sleds, so two teams of eight, and they are doing well. We are pulling 18 days worth of food which is quite a heavy sled but they put in a good 7 to 8 hours of pulling each day. And dog of the day today for me is Bartlet- this chocolate coloured dog that is a bit goofy but quite a happy dog and keeps us amused with his kind of prancing around and his looks and so forth. He?d be a nice dog to cuddle up to ... Anyway, things are well and the dogs are doing great, I?m very impressed with them and that?s it. So good night and we are all wishing for good ice. Bye bye. 

March 24, 2006 / Bear flare goes blind...
GPS-pos: N 84.0950 | E 91.2133| Distance travelled: N/A
I was just writing in my journal and had to make a note!! No more cold places for a while! I now have a special kind of connection and more importantly a special kind of sympathy for frozen food!! I just worked out that over the last 14 months I would of spent close to 7 months in very cold places (Antarctica, Greenland, Arctic) and in side a very small tent!! Especially as I am 6"4 it seems smaller and smaller... So I guess you could say I also have a connection with tinned food!! However all this said, you would be right in saying, it's your own fault, no one forced you!! All too true. I am still going through the old grey cells to find the ones that keep saying freeze yourself its not that bad! Saying that, in respect of the temperature, yes it is cold, but it's also very manageable! I guess it could be due to a combination of things, firstly the great folks over at Patagonia whose clothes I can not recommended highly enough, just don't keep burning them like I do or not only do you feel stupid but sad!! Secondly it could be the fact that I am still not fully defrosted from my previous 2 trips to colder climes or it could be the temperature over the last month has not dropped below -30c... Now it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out something is not quite right!! Maybe a rocket scientist might know the answer? I was aware we would have to face open water but never to the extent that we have faced. Mid February and I have seen more water than the shamu probably sees in a year! Now not only does this make travel very slow, frustrating, stressful, and sometimes wet but also the phrase "The bigger the lead the bigger the bear" although it might sound funny is usually true. It's often the first question people ask after: 'how do you go to the loo' (Quickly!!) "Did you see a polar bear?" Now they might look sweet and cuddly when you watch them on the television from the comfort of you're armchair, but believe me they are not that sweet 5 metres away from the end of your tent!! So let me paint the picture: You have just finished a long day of pushing, pulling, lifting and generally pushing every muscle fibre to the limit, you've had your two hot drinks, a warm meal is sitting in your belly and the eyelids are as heavy as the storey high blocks of ice you have been fighting through all day long. You have just gone through the pain of getting into your sleeping bag, (one of the coldest times of the day! Not to mention the three layers of sleeping bags, multiple zips, Velcro and other bits you need to wriggle through to find a warm place to snuggle down) and the dogs start going crazy, for the first few nights this had become a regular routine so your ears prick up for about 30secs and then you drift off to sleep trying to find a rhythm between barks, grunts and squeaks. However this time they were going crazy like Augustus Gloop in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory!! The heart starts beating, palms sweating and then ok how the hell do I get out of my sleeping bags, a wriggle and tear later I am now looking out my tent right at a massive bear who is sniffing my sled!! Rather the sled than me I am thinking!! Ok think fast, flashlight.... Where did I put my flashlight after 5 minutes of frantic looking it was still on my head... By this time the other team members were getting up and out of the tent. Next bear flare.... Then clothes, seems funny but with all the adrenaline pumping through you're veins the cold doesn't seem so cold... Believe me your fingers and toes quickly snap you out of that one in a hurry... So now outside with only a sled between me and the bear, there is a sudden realization ... I am meals on wheels! Steak on legs is far more exciting than canvas and wood! There was a second where I could actually see his brain click into gear, yum yum breakfast, lunch and ...!! But before he could say DINNER I had pulled my flare! Now word of advice- don't check to see if your hands are in the right place or you end up blinded!! So now I may have Boris the big Russian bear breathing down my neck but what do I care? All I can see are big red dots!! Luckily for me he wasn't a bull and when the red filter over my eyes subsided he had scarpered far enough back so we could collect our senses and get the gun ready to fire a few warning shots! A few big bangs later and I think Boris decided Seal was far easier!! So in one fell swoop any notion of a polar hero was replaced by polar clutz!! Keep tuning in for more action! This is David for Adventure Ecology!!

P.S The re supply came and went, in a flash! Basically a helicopter comes wafting down like an eagle swooping on its pray, 4 grumpy looking Russians look at you as if
A) Why am I here and B) More importantly what the hell are you doing here?
As this was not our charter just a passing drop as it is headed for the North Pole to set up a base (called Borneo a floating ice station around 88 degree's) they barely touch down before throwing out all your stuff and sadly disaster struck- our extra treat bag got missed and left on board so the grumpy Russians are now not so grumpy, however with all things bad there is always something good! We miscounted the food bags so we now have two extra days food, which means a healthy dose of Pierre Marcolini chocolate!! Heaven! 

March 23, 2006 / Time to breathe...
GPS-pos: N 84.0950 | E 91.2133| Distance travelled: N/A So I am sitting here waiting for our second re-supply. The MSR stove next to me is ticking along with a very hypnotic purr that seems to have worked it's charm on the other team members, as they are all snoring away. The only other sound is the occasional squeak and grunt from the dogs. Today for me is a chance to breathe for what feels like the first time in a month. It is a rest day but there is no guilt, or travel pressure attached, we can only sit and wait. For me time to breathe is also time to think and day dream, and its then I start to really absorb exactly where I am at and what I hope the effect this
trip will have, on not only the people who read or hear about it now, but the future generations who have to live in the world which we are moulding for them. I know I have said it before but the scale of the problems we will face as these huge expanses of ice and snow I travel on daily, begin to melt are almost not worth thinking about!! I think that one of the issues we really face, is how do we actually communicate and show these ecologically fragile environments for what they are and more importantly what they are struggling against. Even sitting in my tent separated by only a few millimetres of fabric makes this beautiful and extreme world seem a million miles away. So its no surprise that people living in large cities like London, Mumbai, Lagos, Lima should feel safe and oblivious to the impending threats that are on the move... I don't think I have the answer, I wish I did but I hope that in my small way I can help to at least communicate some of the beauty and magic around places like the Arctic ocean that needs to be saved if we are to continue with the quality of life we have become so accustomed to.

On a lighter note today is also a day to not only eat as much as possible but to prepare for some of the new snacks and treats we have coming in on the re supply. It never ceases to amaze me how the small things like some 'just add water' humous can get you so excited! Well it does... For me just the new smell is enough... It sounds odd but the subtle or sometimes not so subtle smells of everyday life that we take for granted are the small types of things the brain and nose really pick up on!
My happily purring stove has just seemed to have gone to sleep as well which means before long, I will know how a tub of Ben and Jerry's feels like... It also means sadly I can't read through this so I hope I make a snowball of sense! Thanks for all the support wherever you may be, hopefully for you somewhere slightly warmer!! All the best from the Arctic and the Adventure Ecology team.

March 22, 2006 / You Win Some You Lose Some.
Good evening it?s Paul calling from the Top of the World Expedition, on the Arctic Ocean, March 22nd. A beautiful day today, the sun was shining, there was not much wind and we took some video and some photos so that was very pleasant? but we encountered this massive lead, about an hour and a half into our travel day that kept pushing us to the east and we were determined to cross it so we kept looking for places to cross and were shut back pretty much all day. Finally around three o?clock, three thirty, Sarah found a narrow spot and we were able to get across and then had some decent sledding after that and we travelled until six o?clock. But we only made 9 nautical miles north, which is a little less than we usually do. So you win some and you lose some and that?s it for today we?ll talk again probably in three days when it?s my turn for an update. Goodnight and sleep well and thanks for tuning in, bye bye!

21 March, 06 / GPS-pos: N 84.0018 | E 91.3159 | Distance travelled: 13 nautical miles / We hit the 84 today
Hi this is David from the Top of the World, Mission 1, for Adventure Ecology. All is good, sitting here eating a bowl of stroganoff again, because Sarah dropped the bowl of beans using the Ogrippy grips¹ for the bowl. Which means we get stroganoff two nights in a row which is a pleasure because its one of my favourite Harvest Food Works. All is good with us, we hit the 84 today which is kind of exciting, we didn¹t think we were going to because we had a very slow start getting through lots of deep snow and thick blocks of ice but we managed to weave our way through, find ourselves on a few more pans and luck was on our side with a lot of the leads which we went over, they were frozen solid which was nice rather than them being open water which we are used to. So we managed to move through that. We did 13 nautical miles. The dogs seem to be settling into their routine, they still seem to get excited whenever they get near water, so do I, so I can¹t blame them, maybe it¹s just a lack of wanting to get wet. But all is good, we¹re starting to settle into the routine as usual, eating my food, trying to put on as much weight as possible which we all seem to be doing very easily for some reason. We¹re just keeping our heads down and heading north. So this is David phoning, Paul and Sarah say hello, all the dogs say a big howl and we look forward to speaking to you soon. Thank you to everyone back at home who¹s helping us with everything, especially to Johnny and Andy at R & K who are helping us out, to sort out some stuff in Longyearbyen and get all our stuff together. So thank you to everyone who¹s been helping us on our expedition. We look forward to giving you an update tomorrow. Keep tuning in, thanks!

19 March, 06 / GPS-pos: n/a | Distance travelled: 12.5 nautical miles / A good day of travel...
Hi this is David for the Mission 1 Top of the World Expedition, for Adventure Ecolog. We have just finished a nice bowl of sweet and sour and we had a good day of travel. We did twelve and a half nautical miles. The first half of the day started pretty tough, very heavy going, through deep snow and a lot of ice chunks, to try and manoeuvre the sleds, a lot of stopping and starting. And then we came into what seemed to open up into some more flatter pans being split by pressure ridges, which is where the ice comes together. Its quite amazing, we've been sitting in the tent now for about three hours and you can feel and hear the ice moving and groaning and cracking and making these enormous noises kind of like a giant who's taking footsteps towards you. And you sit there, and then you look outside and you cant see anything, it seems you cant see any movement at all yet you hear these tremendous noises, convinced that the ice is going to crack underneath you. but it doesn't. So that's good!... And when it does we may not phone in! But all is good at the moment, we're on a nice pan at the moment, and will hopefully get a good start tomorrow, get away and make some more mileage, eat up the 83rd and get onto 84. We have just been planning our resupply, and it's coming in on the 23rd, which is six days from now, or five days from now, I've lost count of where we are. Everyone say's hello, everyone is good, still drying, still sweeping and just really enjoying being up in the arctic and feeling very privileged to be here. I hope you guys are enjoying our updates. Thanks for tuning in and we'll talk to you soon. This is David for Mission 1, Top of the World Expedition, thanks, bye.

17 March, 06 / GPS-pos: n/a | Distance travelled: n/a Tough day on the Arctic Ocean
Hi this is David from The Top of the World Mission 1 Expedition. We've just come in from a very tough day, very demoralising to find that there's been a big southern drift working against us and that we travelled for five hours today and we went back 0.5 nautical miles. We broke the 83rd parallel yesterday which was quite exciting and we woke up this morning and had drifted south five nautical miles, which means that our hard work yesterday also got wiped out. It has been a really interesting day. It started with very high winds around 35 to 40km/h blowing straight into our faces, which makes travel very hard. Ground visibility was also very bad caused by a lot of spin drift in the air, this is the very light snow being blown which makes like a fog, meaning that we could only probably see 50m. This makes travelling between the two teams incredibly hard in case one team gets separated. We've found ourselves in an area with very broken ice. It amazes me that in this area, we've seen probably so far an equal amount of water as ice, I find that very disturbing. There's no doubt in my mind that there is far too much water here and with the notion of positive feedback which is when the sun actually absorbs more energy with the open patches of water, it scares me to think what's going to happen with global warming and the ever increasing problems faced by the arctic melting. Its causing our travels to become rather tough, but then that was expected in certain areas. I managed to get my feet into the water and my leg, so did Sarah's leg. We found ourselves in an area of very thin ice, fast moving ice and breaking ice which is kind of nerve wracking. But we're good, we came out of it. I'm just drying my boots and so is Sarah, hopefully they will be dry by the morning. Spirits are still high, although travel has been very slow, hopefully we will catch up and get some good travel days in so fingers crossed for that. So anyone that's got some good ice condition dances or chants or spells, now is the time to start getting them going. Really starting to feel like I'm getting into expedition mode, getting a few bumps, knocks, bruises. My fingers are starting to crack because of the cold, it becomes quite painful pulling on and off gloves and harnessing the dogs. But all in all I'm still pleased and happy, eating well and sleeping well. So everyone says hi and keep tuning in, this is David phoning for the Top of The World Expedition.

15 March, 06 / GPS-pos: n/a | Distance travelled: n/a / First Re-supply
Good morning, it's Paul on the Arctic Ocean for the Top of the World expedition. All is well, we are sitting in the tent right now just finished our breakfast and waiting for the helicopter to come in with our first re-supply. We had a good travel-day yesterday, until about 3 o'clock, we came up to a lead that was open water so we were not able to cross it. We set up camp and found a nice area for the helicopter to land and we are now waiting. Travel in the last couple days has been OK, there's many many leads, probably caused by the full moon. Most of them we've been able to cross or detour around and every now and then we get stopped by one that's not frozen. With the temperatures being around -20C to -25C they usually freeze over overnight, so hopefully the next morning we set off again and travel until we find another lead of open water and then set up camp again. Anyway, today we're going to stay here, the helicopter should be here in about 3-4 hours and we will spend the morning just cleaning up, getting everything ready to send back that we don't want, such as our garbage and so forth, and then when the helicopter comes in we'll have some fresh supplies and have a little bit of a party. All is well, thank you very much for tuning in to our expedition. We wish you a very good day, that's it for now, bye-bye.

13 March, 06 / GPS-pos: N 82.4646 | E 95.3846 | Distance travelled: 6.5 nautical miles
Well we've had a long day today, it's been a very tiring day of travel, 6 hours and we only made 6.5 nautical miles. It's a full moon up in the Arctic at the moment and when the full moon is out so is the water it seems. There is a huge system of leads - where the pack ice shifts apart and reveals the water underneath - the Arctic ocean. This makes it very hard to travel especially with the dogs. We're currently camped for yet another night right by one, but hopefully it will freeze over during the night, the temperature has been fluctuating a lot. Even so, the team's spirits are good, if I'm honest I am a bit tired today, it's been a long two days and a lot of stress for the dogs and for us getting them over the water/leads. That said, we've started to really get into the rhythm of the expedition. We're waiting for the first resupply which will be here in a day and a half, it seems to have come round incredibly quickly! We currently sitting at around 82 46 - nearly at the 83rd parallel, we'll hopefully reach that tomorrow if all goes to plan. Hope all's well with everyone back at home. David and the Adventure Ecology Mission 1 team.

08 March, 06 / GPS-pos: N 82.0333 | E 96.0934 | Distance travelled: 4.3 nautical miles
Hi! this is David phoning from the Adventure Ecology, Mission 1 Expedition, Top of the World. We're sitting in our tent, just had some Bountiful Pasta, we're having an Arctic Social at the moment. We bumped into Bettina and Jean from:, go check out their website and follow their progress. We're all just sharing some food and catching up on stories. The dogs had a good day, we did seven hours of travel, we did some good running, managed to make around seven or eight nautical miles, which was nice. Hopefully the dogs are going to be slightly quieter tonight but it seems that they're not, they're making a lot of noise. Last night we had another bear come into camp, which was kind of scary again. It woke us up in the middle of the night, its getting hard to tell when the dogs are just barking at each other or barking at a bear so it keeps you on your toes. But Paul seems happy he's sweating again after his meal, he wants to go and sit outside because he's feeling a bit hot. But all is good so this is David for the Top of the World Expedition and I will check in soon. Thanks, bye.

Mardi 7 mars 06 / Ils sont partis
David de Rothschild, ses gens et ses chiens viennent de s'élancer sur la glace. Leur position le 3 mars, date de leur dernier dispatche : GPS-pos: N 81.27063 | E 98.08302 | Distance parcourue : 1.89 miles nautiques.

We landed on the ice at 2pm this afternoon local time. We're now sitting in our tent after a nice bowl of Harvest Foodworks and a bowl of couscous. We managed one hour of travel and gained 1.8 nautical miles north which is a great start. The dogs are well and all tied up. It's our first night on the ocean so rather exciting. Everyone is happy, it's nice to be out of Golomannyi after so long. We have to keep our eyes and ears open, all our senses switched on. All is good, we're nice and warm and looking forward to getting into our sleeping bags and getting some sleep. The tent's not too bad, everyone's smiling and laughing, for the moment that is!
Good bye for now, David and the Adventure Ecology Top of the World expedition team.