Communication onboard


19 November 2006

 74th day of drift.
 Position: 82?28’N, 136?57’E
 Course and Speed: W, 0.1 knots
 Wind: NE, 30 knots
 Sea Ice: Stable
 Visibility: Moderate, blowing snow
 Moon: Not visible
 Air Temperature: -15°C
 Water Temperature: -1.5°C

This morning after a night of wind and blowing snow, Tara, with her constant list to port side and snow drifts mounting onto the deck, resembles a true polar schooner similar to the images of the Fram. We often make comparisons to the Fram, Nansen and his crew of twelve.
However, there is one aspect of our modern day expedition that has changed dramatically since these early adventures – communication. We have at our disposal direct telephone and email communication with the world via the satellite network, enabling us to stay in contact with family, friends and the media. This communication somewhat kills the suspense of an isolated expedition, but reduces the anxiety of our loved ones and provides us with important emergency communication capabilities. When asked the question if you would have come on the expedition without modern means of communication the response amongst crew members is mixed, five say no and three yes.

 As I called New Zealand this afternoon for the all important result of the second rugby test match between France and New Zealand I was thankful for modern technology. My French crewmates, not surprisingly, were less happy with word of yet another loss!