My first off Tara for almost a year

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4 June 2007

My first off Tara for almost a year

Over the past couple of weeks we have taken advantage of the calm conditions for a spot of summer camping. Last weekend Sam, Marion, Audun and I departed for a ski tour to the north, camping for the night a couple of kilometers from Tara. Last night it was the turn of Timo, Charles, Minh-Ly and Jean. We were hoping to drift close enough to the North Pole in the coming weeks to be able to finish the last leg by ski. However, our current position, drift direction and the deteriorating state of the ice is making this plan unlikely.

Skiing a few kilometers to our north we crossed a zone of extremely fractured ice, weaving between open leads and over pressure ridges until we found a good sized, solid looking ice floe for the night. Cooking outside in relatively warm conditions (-7˚C), we then all squeezed into one tent for an evening of ‘Jungle Speed’ before turning in for a good nights sleep, my first off Tara for almost a year!

We have still not seen any polar bears this summer, however when sleeping in the tents it was necessary to install a polar bear warning system. Consisting of a trip wire attached to hand flares, one has to be very careful when exiting the tent in the morning! Of course we also had Tiksi and Zargrey with us who provide the best warning of all.

Grant