Yesterday our little group pushed, pulled, and floated our kayaks over 10 km of thin sea ice densely populated with melt ponds. In the best moments we were gondoliers, effortlessly punting our kayaks through bright blue canals on the ice, the resemblance broken only by our attire (peculiarly aesthetic dry suits) and our voices (mine being only a bit shy of pitch perfect baritone). In the worst moments, which were most of them, we were a team of snapping pack animals dragging a ton of food, equipment, and clothing each. We were rewarded in our efforts by 50 degree temperatures and a quiet, soft place to sleep instead of the ice of the night before.
Today we wake at Distant Cape on the north side of Lady Franklin Bay, at the base of a sizeable alluvial fan that spreads out from an old coal seam once mined by the original Greely expedition that gave it its name. We may be the only humans to set foot here in 150 years, and subsequently the only to be spoiled by an indescribable view of snow capped Mount Campbell across the Bay, with Nares Strait and the gargantuan Peterman glacier lying in the distance, on which the sun see, to perpetually shine. One would be forgiven for thinking we were in the fjords of Norway if not for the unending broken expanse of sea ice spreading out in every direction. Tomorrow we push onwards across the bay, and expect to camp on the ice again. We will be skirting the line of sea ice that divides the land fast sea ice of the bay from the mobile, broken ice of the Strait itself.
2 days more of hauling await, wish us luck!