by John Huston

This is John calling with a short update report. Today was an up-and-down day. Kind of everything the Arctic Ocean had in some ways was thrown at us. We had a whole bunch of ice rubble in the beginning that made it very, very slow and it seemed that every route we chose, as far as we could see, we needed to then go back the opposite direction once we crossed over some boulders or something. Lots of kind of wiggling and crisscrossing our way north.

In the afternoon we came upon several frozen leads that were quite old and beautiful ice formations undulating and some of them were going in a northwesterly direction so we followed those leads as long as we could. And now we are camped just north of the last one that we crossed today. So those leads, if they are going in the right direction, can kind of be skiing highways, but it's kind of rare that a lead will run north-south; maybe it will run northwest-southeast or something like that, which is good for us, but north-south leads are kind of rare, so we often just cross the lead because they're running east and west.

That's about it for today. We'll send some photos tomorrow and have a longer dispatch. We're doing well; we're staying warm for the most part. It can be a battle to keep one's hands warm in these conditions and breaks are very, very short. I wouldn't even call them breaks. It's more like you cram some food in your little facemask hole and drink as much as you can in 2 or 3 minutes and then keep moving. We look forward to breaks because it gives us some sustenance, but at the same time they are a very cold time and we just look forward to keeping on moving so that we can stay warm.

OK, talk to you next time.

Daily Expedition Data
Date: March 12, 2009
Location: N83° 34.625' W074 16.487'
Time Traveled: 8 hours 15 minutes
Distance Traveled: 3.6 nautical miles
AM Temperature: -34°F
PM Temperature: -34°F
Distance to North Pole: 386.83 nautical miles