John in the ruff.

by John Huston

Well, this morning, a new event in the expedition. We turned on our DeLorme GPS's and, lo and behold, we had drifted north, and a tiny bit west, but mostly north. And that is fantastic. It's free mileage, but we can never count on that in our plans for getting to the North Pole, but we expect to drift all over the place. So sometimes it's to the east, most predominately, actually it's a little bit to the east if everything's the same as past years. And sometimes it's to the west, and sometimes north, and sometimes south, but this morning it was almost half a nautical mile north. We are actually drifting slowly right now as we sit here, almost directly west. And as I am talking to you Tyler has already fallen asleep because he's pretty much a narcoleptic once he touches his sleeping bag.

So the drift happens because the Arctic Ocean is made up of huge plates of sea ice and we don't actually feel the drift or notice it unless we are near open water, which we have seen none of so far. We don't feel it or anything; it's just like the earth is moving as well and people don't feel that in their normal day-to-day life. So we just are moving slowly as the ice drifts with the wind and ocean currents.

Today was a pretty normal day. We had clear conditions all day which was fantastic. And it was also calm winds or no winds at all all day. It was nice and sunny; we hadn't seen the sun for a few days due to overcast conditions and the past few days have been quite windy as well. So today was a welcome respite and the skiing conditions were very good. 

Mostly flat terrain, although we did battle with a few hummocks, our share of snow waves again, and some rubble. And as we look north out of our campsite, things look good for tomorrow as well. But it's the Arctic Ocean and things change by the hour and sometimes by the 15 minutes or so as far as our ice terrain goes. So we never know what we are going to get each day. We hope for the best. Right now we're hoping to be at 85 degrees in 2 days. But that's a hope, not an expectation. Expectations will kill our morale out here. We just put in our 9 hours 30 minutes every day, stay optimistic and happy, and whatever turns up on the GPS at the end of the day is what we have done. There is not too much control over the terrain that we have and we cannot ski much faster than we are without tuckering ourselves out.

OK. Thanks a lot everybody, and now it's time for bed. Good night.

Daily Expedition Data
Date: March 25, 2009
Location: N84° 46.801' W074 29.952'
Time Traveled: 9 hours 30 minutes
Distance Traveled: 7.3 nautical miles
AM Temperature: -30°F
PM Temperature: -28°F
calm S/SW wind, clear and sunny
314 nautical miles to the North Pole