90 degrees N
We wake up at 8:00am to find out that we are still almost 60 nautical miles from the North Pole. At 4 knots/hour 60 nautical miles could take up to 15 hours! The ice is very thick and we travel slowly….The fog has come in an visibility is low.
The Geographic North Pole is a fixed location on the surface of the Arctic Ocean. It is 690km from the nearest land as is the northern axis of rotation of the Earth. After many attempts by various explorers to Dirigible, Norge, flew over the North Pole on May 12 1926. The expedition included Roald Amundsen from Norway, Umberto Nobile, from Italy and Ellsworth from the United States. It was not until 1948 that a landing was confirmed at the North Pole by a soviet scientific team, the Sever-2 expedition.
At 6:29 we reach the North Pole. More celebrations! Flags from China, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, United States and an international peace flag from our Tibetan Monk fly on the Bow. Champaign is poured, music is played and people cannot take enough photos!
The GPS determines that we have definitely reached the North Pole and all our representative countries celebrate!
The “Bipolar Crew” - All of us have been to both the North and South Pole. On the far left one of our expedition leaders Solan; a fellow passenger, Howard, Me, Paul and Bob, who is our Arctic and Antarctic specialist.
The ice is pretty thin and we need to stop in an area where the ice is thick enough to stop our boat and continue our celebration on the ice. It takes one and a half hours to find that piece of ice.
Upon arrival we all gather in a circle on the ice and our resident Tibetan Monk gives a chant to celebrate our arrival at the North Pole. Everyone then disperses to take part in the Air Ballooning. Satellite phone calls to home, photographing in front of the North Pole Marker and some of us participating in a Polar Plunge.
Angela and I did our “Polar Plunge” where the water was -1.5 degrees C….after a shot of vodka, we quickly ran to the sauna.
As I walk through the pressure ridges on the ice pack. I photograph the ice formations and the intense royal blue hidden inside the ice.
Towards the end of the evening we take an ice walk with expedition leader Collin into the beautiful white landscape and lake a moment to soak in our surroundings as armed guards stand by to look out for polar bears.
The blue of the ice under the snow is highlighted by the filtering of the longer light waves of yellow, orange and red. The ultraviolet end of the spectrum is then absorbed allowing for a radiant blue to appear in the ice.
It is 3:00am and we finally embark 50 Years of Victory to begin our journey south.