Hugh & Toby, Looking for Otto

by Kyle O’Donoghue

There is something surreal about taking your last shower for 72 days, so this morning I stayed in longer than usual thinking about what lay ahead.

Today was our day to fly to Goose Fjord – the deep picturesque fjord where Otto Sverrup’s ship, Fram, was frozen in the ice for two years. Last night we were up late packing our sleds and sending our final emails. I checked and double-checked the filming equipment to make sure that I hadn’t forgotten anything. It would be horrible to watch the Twin Otter airplane take off and leave us on the ice and then realize that I’ve forgotten the camera memory cards.

After almost two weeks of preparations, packing food, gear modifications, and working with our dogs we were ready to go. However, as I’m learning, the north has on its own time. Poor weather and some flight delays on other flights pushed our flight to Sunday.

The team is using the time to look at maps of the early part of our trip and read Sverdrup’s diaries. One place in particular, called Trold Fjord, sounds spectacular. Sverdrup described the northern exit to Trold Fjord in 1901 as “…a horrible hole we had gotten into with high threatening walls of rock on both sides.” Adventure awaits us, but for now we have to wait for the Arctic to allow our adventure to begin.

We are scheduled to depart tomorrow morning…if the weather cooperates.