Rubble Without a Cause

April 1, 2009 8:55pm

Well today was a good day! Temps were a little kinder than in the beginning, hovering around minus 30 F degrees. But most importantly we hit 10 nautical miles true north in spite a new rubble fields which pestered our progress. Ten had been my average target and one necessary in order for us to exit the pole through the temporary floating Russian station Barneo, one degree south of the pole. Barneo closes on April 27th, so the race is on! We hit our groove today and charged for most of the day’s 9 hours of travel time, which still got us two film breaks. A point on filming or photographing here: all cold environments are challenging to shoot in. I use custom built batteries and silicon cables to deal with the extreme conditions. (A regular cable will simply wilter and snap from the cold). But out here, each opportunity to shoot has to be measured against 1) the time to stop, open the sled and set the gear up 2) the cold that sets in from stopping 3) the time needed without a glove or with minimum hand layer which set deep painful numbing and potential frosbite. Not to mention dealing with something which invariably goes wrong with gear that isn’t really intended to be optimized in – 40. Consequently, shooting is extremely challenging, and made all the more frustrating for the fact that there are quite literally 100’s of shots daily that cannot be captured but to memory. That is the secret of the Arctic winter ice. An icy Carmen, luring like the seductive temptress, but treacherously poisonous to the image greedy. A visual Shangrila meant mostly to be commited to the eye’s memory. That said–we did catch some good sequences, in light of a personal documentary I am shooting of this adventure. More on that later.
Our current position is N85°55.037 and W76°41.076. Most likely tomorrow will we complete our first full degree (or 60 nautical miles)! We are feeling cautiously optimistic, in spite of the 70% failure rate for the pole. Wish us luck!
Good night.

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