There’s nothing for it…we keep going

Thursday, April 25th.

Another bitterly, bitterly cold day today, with a slight wind out of the North!  It’s been a few days now that I’ve had to ski with my down jacket on, on top of all the other layers. I still didn’t feel properly warm. Neither did Richard. One of his feet was particularly cold today. Conditions were not the best.

Not only was it cold, with that little bit of wind from the North contributing, but actual skiing conditions were difficult and frustrating too, due to the endless masses of snow-drifts that we encountered on the sea-ice. It’s impossible to get a rhythm going when your skis are continually clattering over these small, un-even snowdrifts. Makes it difficult.  At one point, we did switch over to try walking in our ski boots, but there was really no happy medium — there was nothing for it, but to carry on, on skis.

As our expedition progresses, we are both getting hungrier during the day. We need to eat a lot more to compensate for the level of exertion we’re now putting out.  We need to constantly replenish our energy output by increasing our caloric intake. The reality is that what goes out, must go back in, to properly maintain ourselves throughout the day.

The cold is, in a way, starting to eat away at us. Excuse the metaphor. We’re beginning to feel the cumulative effects of the cold a wee bit. And we’ve both lost weight.

Always well prepared as we are, we have these grab-bags that are supposed to last us between breakfast and dinner while we’re on the go. It’s a fight. I want to eat my entire grab-bag by 10 o’clock in the mornings now. It takes a bit of discipline not to devour everything in the first sitting, so to speak. As for Richard, well, when I look over at him, watching him tucking enthusiastically into his grab-bag, when all I have left at the bottom of mine is a couple of lonely, little M&M’s, well…uh…hmm..that’s ok, it’s all good…sort of.

We are getting close! I feel that we have less than 30 kilometres to Point de la Guiche, which on the one hand is very, very exciting, not only in terms of our accomplishment, but that we will, in fact, be standing where John Rae stood to declare his expedition’s discovery of the first navigable route through the Northwest Passage. 

We did complete over 16 kilometres today. Considering the conditions, it was—a good day. The weather seemed to be settling a little bit, though it still shows no sign of warming up any. But hey, that’s ok.

So, here we are. It’s coming up quick. Probably, within the next couple of days we will arrive at our intended goal, to pay our respects to John Rae and all that he achieved, in 1854. We’re looking forward to it. We shall carry on!

David and Richard

[A very important mention tonight— one we had intended to send out the night previous before our signal, and we ourselves, in tandem, did fade out so abruptly. So instead, it is tonight that we send out a special hello to the staff of the two, Scottish and Irish Stores (Bells Corners & St. Laurent), in Ottawa, Ontario. The team did pay them a visit prior to leaving on the expedition and we purchased the stores’ enticingly good, Tunnock’s Caramel Wafers. The staff were kind and generous enough to send us on our way with some extra expedition-necessary treats to help keep us fuelled, including the now famous “snowballs’  (So Free Organic Milk Alternative Snowmen Bars) along with several other delights we are saving for the last day. So again, a special shout-out tonight to these fine stores. Note: I’ve very wisely hidden my caramel wafers from Richard’s view. He knows how good they are.  Alas, as for the ‘snowballs’ …these never did make it beyond, Naujaat.]