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Mar 28, 04 - Bring your swimsuit  Global SchoolNet
 Mar 29, 2004 07:26 PST 

Mar 28, 04 - Bring your swimsuit

I just finished reading some of the comments you visitors to my site have
been leaving. I can't read them directly but they are kindly forwarded to me
by my publicist, Tim Cox at Zing Public Relations. I really appreciate the
positive feedback, and they help make days like today much better.

You probably are getting tired of reading that today was a hard day.
Everyday is hard here, with some harder than others. I've also gotten some
requests for more details about my day so I'll try and relate to you a
'typical' day on my trek to the North Pole.

I typically wake up at 2:30am, pee (while lying down, on my side into a
special pee bottle). If it's a cold night I sleep with the warm bottle,
otherwise carefully pour it out. Back to sleep, or rather try, until
5:30-7:00am, when I crawl out of my warm bag and face the frosty morning.

I put on my down jacket, though it's hard because it is frozen with ice
inside. I usually have to bend it into shape to put it on. I slip on some
insulated pants and down booties and fill my pot with snow and ice.

I start the stove, warm my hands for a moment, then put the pot on to melt
snow and ice into water. I also go to the 'toilet', by digging a hole in the
ice/snow and going as quickly as possible - this is known as the hardest
maneuver in the arctic - the polar poo.

Once that's done the water is close to boiling and I prepare my breakfast,
usually oatmeal, and lunch in my thermos (usually top ramen noodles with
meat added).

After breakfast I pack everything up, and turn the stove on to warm my feet
before I put them in my ice-laden boots.

With boots on, I start putting things into the sledges. The last thing I do
is take down the tent. Then I put on my pulling harness, put on my skis, and
find 'north' and start my long day of pulling my 300lbs of sledges towards
the north pole.

I stop for food/drink about every hour or so. It's important to keep
nourished and hydrated. I watch the sun/shadows and time to navigate towards

Today I encountered many dangerous leads, with thin ice or no ice at all. I
also had to swim today. Of course there were plenty of pressure ridges, some
jumbled pack ice, and some pans.

Lately I've been getting started at 8 to 8:30am, and stop around 5pm. Today
I stopped near 4:30pm, I just didn't have much energy and nearly being
dragged into the ocean by my sledge wore me out.

Once it's determined time to make camp, I look for a place to pitch my tent.
Put on my down jacket and pants, pitch the tent, and unload everything I
need for the evening. Typically this includes stove, fuel, sleeping bag and
pads, electronics, cook kit, and thermos'. I setup everything inside the
tent, boil water, make my dinner, eat any left-over food from the day, and
then crawl into my sleeping bag.

I hook up my PDA to my satellite phone, write my daily update, transfer pics
from my camera to my PDA, then send in my report. I go to sleep anywhere
from 9pm - 1am. Sometimes I have to stay up late to give tv or
newspaper/magazine interviews.

Then I do it all over again! That's a fairly typical day for me. Every few
days I repair equipment, or write a song, call a loved one or friend, and
send out short emails. Sound like fun?!
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