Travelling back
Travelling back
Posted by Ann Daniels

Wednesday, 21 Jan 2009 00:00

As I travel back from Qikiqtarjuaq I reflect on another adventure in the magnificent Arctic.  A memory to treasure when I can no longer travel to the ends of the earth!   


It never ceases to amaze me just how wonderful the cold north is, with its frozen landscape and warm generous people. The northern lights as they dance in the dark night make me feel as if I’m in another world, watching a celestial ritual that has been performed long before I came onto the planet and one which will continue long after I have left.  When I leave the north I always feel honoured to have been allowed to visit such a wondrous place and humbled about my own existence.


That said, living, a travelling and camping in the relentless cold can be pure hell.  I had forgotten just how painful frozen fingers can be and how difficult it is to perform and survive at temperatures below -25ºC, where even the smallest of tasks take a mammoth amount of effort and concentration.  The sheer amount of effort in climbing out of a sleeping bag in the early hours to a frozen tent and the arduous task of simply lighting a cooker to make breakfast, where the comforts of everyday life become meaningless and any warmth becomes a luxury beyond compare. 


We spent only 3 days in the cold but it was enough to remind us of what lay ahead and how important it is that we are all on top of our game. 


This is the first time I will be on a major expedition with men rather than women and if I had any doubts they were put to rest on this soiree on the ice.  We each have our place, our jobs and the age old marine ethos of humour in adversity is boundless.  Whilst I know we will experience a living nightmare, it will be a nightmare full of shared companionship, magical moments and this time with the added benefit of feeling I have made a small difference. Being able to help the scientific community to better understand the difficulties our planet is facing will be an achievement that will last a lifetime.  The pain and discomfort will be momentary in the great scheme of things.


I am often asked why I do what I do.  How could I not do it, would be a more appropriate question.

Category: Preparation
Recent Posts

© Pen Hadow Consulting Ltd
Produced by