Thursday, April 12, 2007

Hella mails from Hornsund

It's probably a surprise to get an e-mail from me - no worries, I'm not yet back in Longyearbyen, but we are in the Polish research station in Hornsund and we even have internet here! (next to warm rooms, shower, food ... a bit of luxury..).

So I have the opportunity to write my first personal report:

Our start from LYB 2 weeks ago was quite exciting, about 50 people came to the UNIS building to say good-bye. With the words: "I don't know where you go, we go to the South! See you in Sommer!" we started, it was really great start. Since then we were 12 days on the way till we arrived to Hornsund, 3 days before the planned date thanks to the good weather and optimal conditions.

First 2 days we went along the Scooter-"motorway" in the direction to Svea and it was great to leave this path on the 3rd day. At the beginning the pulka was for me quite heavy though I've got it a bit lighter than the "boys". With the time it was better and fortunately after about 2 days my knee got used to the burden, so I didn't have yet any problems with it! Then we crossed Van Mijenfjord, luckily well frozen just as later Van Keulenfjord. Inbetween we had one day with bad weather, our camp was on the pass between the two fjords and although it wasn't really bad storm we decided to stay in the tent.

Since the Van Keulen crossing we move along on the enormous gaciers and the landscape is fabulously beautiful!! Since then I also feel it was right to come here and I can really enjoy the trip.

Also with the team is everything ok, we understand each other and we can coordinate ourselves well. I share the tent with Ulli and Mats and meanwhile we have quite good routines - even when we have huge tents, sometimes it is with 3 people a bit narrow and we need to arrange who how when is moving. In the temperatures (often till -30 degrees in the night) everything needs its own time, above all to melt and cook the water, so even when we wake up at 7 we can be on the road at 10:30 and also in the evening we need few hours. So we are three we alternate always in cooking, so everyone gets 2 "free" evenings to write a diary etc. and especially on 2 from 3 mornings gets breakfest practicaly into the sleeping bag (you can't underestimate this factor with -25 degrees).

My sleeping bag is luckily warm enough, just becomes as the others very icy from the outside, but the daily sunshine allows to let it dry on the pulka. Here we had opportunity to let ourselves and our equipment dry and sort a bit and above all pack the heaps of food for the next 27 days. Starting from here will be a bit harder as the fjord here (Hornsund) is not frozen ehough, so we will need to find our way along it. On the other site it should be again easier, we'll continue on the big glaciers about 40-50km till we reach Sudkapp. You'll be able to follow it further...

Also it is great to have our dog Andre, it pulls quite a lot and hears very well - and is always happy to be stroken. It's really lovable and trusty friend.

Generally I'm very fine and I'm looking forward to the next weeks of the trip.
Thanks a lot for all sent messages!!!!


p.s. from Mathias: FrozenFive sent also few photos.
The pictures in this blog are actual, not from the archive.
(it pays off to click on the last one to get it bigger ;-))

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