South Camp Inn, Resolute Bay

March 21, 2009 9:29pm

Another day going over the pack list, and shedding a few more pounds
off the loads. We are waiting for Keith’s sledge to arrive in Resolute
as it did not make it on time for the scheduled flight on the way in.
Fingers crossed that it arrives today by cargo, otherwise we will lose
a day. We stop by the Ken Borek charter flight office
to confirm our drop on the ice Monday—in two days! You need to be armed
with patience in the Arctic as flight delays are not the exception but
the norm. On our trip here, last summer, we spent a good twenty percent
of our time losing to weather delays. But there are always rich
encounters in Resolute; people, who just like us, wait for the go ahead
on their way to make their dream come true. At Aziz’s South Camp Inn,
where we stay, there is always a motley crew of inspiring adventure
seekers carving their own notch into the history books. All their
stories make ours pale in comparison.Take Tarka and Catlin for
instance, who have crossed the Chinese Gobi desert
on foot—over 4,000 kilometers in six months; or their North/South
crossing of the Africa continent. On bicycles. Or Michele who is on the
footing of departure for a solo ski trip from the South Camp Inn to the
magnetic 1996 North Pole. He will set off tomorrow morning as well.

Tonight we have decided to set the tent outside the hotel and sleep
there, to test our systems one last time before leaving. After picking
the sledge from cargo, we suit up and step into the dark cold to build
our tent, pulling one sledge of equipment including our blogging
technology: an iridium sat phone, an HP iPack and software provided by
The Human Edge to link all this together and uploaded on the server. Everything seems
to be working OK, even if the batteries need some time to warm up from
the frigid temperature. It is minus 36C! We have decided to camp very
close to a pack of sled dogs—they sleep outside—in the event that a
polar bear might chose to tuck us in!

It is so cold, frost soon builds inside the tent, and on our faces. You
must not put your face inside the sleeping back as condensation will
built in the bag, turn wet and never dry. So no tucking of the head
under the blankets! Periodically, some of the dogs begin barking, and I
wonder if we will have a visitor tonight. The weapon sits outside the
door, loaded…

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