by Tyler Fish
Hello. This is Tyler Fish calling in with the Week in Review. Calling in on Day 41, April 11th. It is a Saturday. The title of this blog is "Science, Health, and Variety". The Week in Review will come in 3 categories; science, health and a variety of things.
In Science, to start off, John and I noticed that the full moon came and went without any huge consequences for us. Typically, the full moon brings the greatest tides, which break up the Arctic ice that is over the ocean. We did not notice too much going on here so we are pleased with that.
We have continued to make more ice observations for the National Snow and Ice Data Center - noting the amount of ice floating on either side of new leads, anywhere from almost nothing to up to 30 or 40 centimeters of ice. So, that's been pretty interesting to do that project.
And in energy, John and I have been concerned about a fuel shortage. We thought that we did not have enough fuel in milliliters per person per day to finish the expedition in the comfort that we wanted to have. We need fuel to power our MSR WhisperLite Internationals. Those stoves we use for food, hot water, heat and any drying. They're sort of the "one stop shop"-that's what we've got. Well, we can't get any more fuel so we decided we needed to change our habits. So we conserve. We become more efficient. We have water that is less hot. We wear our fleeces more often inside the tent and we're also now luckily able to take advantage of the natural light and heat of the sun. It has an affect on the tent on good days. So, we are very proud of ourselves. We've actually reversed our trend in fuel and we are increasing our milliliters per person per day that we had left. So, that is exciting.
In health, John and I are working very hard at protecting our faces from both the sun and the wind. They take a beating every day. In particular, my nose feels like a little bit of a stump. John has decided that his hands, the cracks in his hands, just won't heal until after the expedition. My cough, contracted in Baffin Island before the expedition, is now finally gone. And both of us are working hard to heal our chilblains, which is a surface freezing of the fatty tissues, often on the thighs, outer thighs, which is exactly where the both of us have it. What is a chilblain? What does it look like? Well, right now, just imagine a bruise with some scabs on the outside and then they break open a little bit, so we bandage those. The most exciting news though, in health, would be the boost. John and I have increased our calories to over 7000 calories per day that we are trying to eat as much as possible. Being good Midwesterners, most of this boost came from dairy products: chocolate, milk, and definitely some cheese.
In variety - last week saw us reach 86° and this week has seen us reach 87°. And now we're actually a third of the way on to 88° so we are moving consistently and we are very happy with that. The final two weeks are upon us so please expect a lot to happen.
This last week also saw John and me attempt to wear lighter long underwear due to a little bit of warmer weather. Well we have since changed back to thicker long underwear because we realized we are tired, our bodies are tired, we are thinner and it's become a bit breezier.
John and I have, in conversations, begun talking about what we want to do differently with our lives post-expedition; which I think is a herald of the different part of the expedition is upon us. It's towards the end.
And the last thing in variety - our DeLorme PN40 GPS comes out every break to double-check our bearings and position so that we know that we do not stray too far from our northerly course. Victorinox watches keeps on ticking and their tools keep our gear clicking. They're really quite helpful. And Bergans of Norway keeps us protected all day.
Please stay tuned for the next two weeks of this expedition. It's bound to get very interesting as every day becomes more and more important and vital in our forward progress towards the North Pole.
Daily Expedition Data
Date: April 11, 2009
Location: N87° 24.221' W075 26.748'
Time Traveled: 11 hours
Distance Traveled: 11.6 nautical miles
Drifted 0.4 nautical miles S/SE
AM Temperature: -20°F
PM Temperature: -20°F
NE wind in AM, NW wind in PM, 4-6 knots
156 nautical miles to the North Pole