by Tyler Fish
This day was skied for Donna Hornik. Donna is a 3-year-old brain cancer patient from Indiana. Donna and her family use CaringBridge to keep family, relatives, and friends all updated on how Donna is doing. CaringBridge offers free services; free websites for anybody who would like to use them. John and I are encouraging people to use CaringBridge. We are trying to raise awareness for them and also trying to raise money for CaringBridge. If you're interested in donating to CaringBridge, you can go to our website, www.northpole09.com and there's a link that you can click on to go and donate to CaringBridge. So, Donna, we skied for you today.
Today was a great day for travel along what John and I feel is mostly older ice, the wind-packed crusts, the smaller pressure ridges, the kind you can see over when you finally get to them. It was smooth consistent skiing and we were able to stay close to each other and not have to wait for each other or catch up to the other person after rubble. Because it was easier to stay close, we've begun to have conversations, which I don't know what to call them, but they're either the longest or the shortest conversations on record.
Perhaps the longest because the conversations span miles before they're done or the shortest because it's just a sentence and an answer or maybe a couple sentences and then the conversation breaks for 10 minutes, 15 minutes, and then it continues. You see as one person checks the compass and checks the bearings to see where we are going, the back person can ask a question and then the front person can answer. The front person may then ask a question back, but then it's time to go.
The questions can be either about future plans for the expedition, the upcoming week and a half or two weeks, or they can be random personal trivia questions. And again, the answer may not come right then. We have to keep skiing. The person might interrupt and say, "Oop, got to go," or "Oh, I've got my point. I'm leaving." So it keeps our lives interesting, these conversations, and John and I think we'll continue them because we've enjoyed the company while we're skiing.
So it's been a fun way to go through the day. And right now we are camped on the south side of a lead that we came to at the end of the day and that lead happens to be open, or mostly open, and we decided that it was better to camp now and potentially have it freeze overnight and we'll be able to cross it rather than try something riskier at the end of the day. We did see one seal swimming in the water and we do wish that that seal could tell us what will happen. So stay tuned tomorrow to find out what we did.
Daily Expedition Data
Date: April 13, 2009
Location: N87° 41.772' W073 33.662'
Time Traveled: 10.5 hours
Distance Traveled: 8.4 nautical miles
AM Temperature: -18°F
PM Temperature: -16°F
W wind in AM, SW wind in PM, 10-14 knots
Clear, but some haze
138 nautical miles to North Pole