60 nautical miles to the North Pole!

by Tyler Fish

This morning I realized I was tense. I had to ask myself why. Well, maybe it's because I'm on a very long and difficult unsupported expedition, one of the greatest expeditions anybody can do, and there is a chance of failure. And while we haven't talked about this much, but it is possible, we are racing a deadline, the 25th of April. We need to make it to the North Pole by then or we won't make it. So, John and I, as we approached 89 degrees, have been discussing, making plans, and doing everything we have to do so we are ready for the final push, which we are now doing.

So, we've taken care of that, so why are these tense feelings lingering? Well, I realized because I'm letting them linger. We want to get there. So, I decided I needed to let them go. We have our routines; I just need to do it. So, I decided to simplify things. I thought, you know, there's two things going on from here to the end of this expedition: there's skiing and there's drifting. Skiing you can control, drifting you can't. So, I decided I needed to let go of the drifting. Whatever drift happens will happen. All I can do is ski and everything that supports skiing: the sleeping, the eating, the being smart. So, that's all I can do. So, that's what I'm going to do for the next, hopefully, four days: ski as much as possible in the right direction, north.

Today was a great day. It was fantastic. It began with sunny with a slight breeze and then we saw a crack that had opened up just over the pressure ridge, just beyond where we camped, maybe 100 feet away. We heard it in the night and then we saw it in the morning and went, ‘Wow, impressive.' It was only about two to three feet wide, but interesting that we heard it. And we saw quite a few cracks today, evidence of the new moon's effects on the tide. As the day progressed, as we skied quickly, quickly, quickly, it became cloudier and cloudier, and the breeze turned into winds. So, when we camped tonight, well, our tent, as you can hear right now, is buffeted by winds. It is quite windy, probably 20 knots, so we're worried that we're going to drift along, but we're going to sleep on it and see what happens. So, please pay attention. A lot could happen in the next couple days. Take care.

Daily Expedition Data
Date: April 20, 2009
Location: N89 00.325' W059 30.651'
Time Traveled: 15 hours
Distance Traveled: 15 nautical miles
AM Temperature (4/20): -6° F
PM Temperature (4/21): -10° F
AM: clear, slight NW breeze 10 knots
PM: overcast, W wind 20 knots, visibility poor, blowing snow
60 nautical miles to the pole

John and Tyler are committed to raising
funds and awareness for CaringBridge.