5 March 2007
Most northerly than the FRAM !
Conditions have closed in again over the last few days plunging us back into winter darkness. With a consistent 30 – 35 knots blowing from the south west since 3 March we have been experiencing horizontal snow and overcast skies. Tara is also once again engulfed in a mountain of snow, promising to provide a few hours at the end of a shovel when the wind abates. This latest gale has pushed us past a significant milestone, the most northerly point achieved by the Fram! (85˚56’N in November 1895). Nansen and companion Hjalmar Johansen had already left the ship by this stage, departing on ski when she was at 83˚50’N, the pair continued to 86˚14’N before retreating and heading for Franz Josef Land.
Our progress has been a lot faster than that of the Fram and about two times faster than we originally estimated. If we continue to approach too close to the North Pole in the coming months we risk being caught by an eddy current that circulates around the pole, potentially delaying our release from the ice. Our progression to the north has also delayed the return of the sun above the horizon, weather permitting we are now expecting to see direct sunlight on 11 March.