2000 Bulaga whales play in Cunningham Inlet during July and August.
I have just returned from an amazing wild life adventure from the remote Island of Somerset 500 miles north of the Arctic Circle. I stayed with friends Richard and Joosee Webber their sons Tessun and Nansan at their wilderness Lodge “Arctic Watch” the most northerly Wilderness Lodge in the world.
It is difficult to put my experiences into words as it was mind blowing there. The fun, the exhilaration of being with friends (and similar minded people that have a passion for “The Arctic”,) the whales and the unique wildlife of the tundra region are amazing and I get to see it all while living life to the fullest and enjoying the wonders of this unique part of the world, that is now under treat from global warming and climate change.
I have fallen in love with this region of the world and this is my second adventure up here in the last 6 months. The first in February 2009 just across the bay at Resolute when it was cold and all the sea and the North West passage was iced in and the temperature was down to -50 degrees Celsius. So it was a pleasure to be back in July with pleasant temperatures and sunny days.
So I’m intending to return next year for a wildlife expedition with a team of 10 to 12 people that might be interested in photography, whales, and arctic wildlife.
So why not take a walk on the wild side...
If your are interested let me know. This adventure is suitable for any reasonably fit person with no experience other than a love of wild life, unique places and the Arctic. The excitement begins once we leave Ireland.
Contact me today for an adnventure of a lifetime - www.patfalvey.com
Despite colder conditions, the Arctic is losing a lot of it's old, stable ice, according to satellite data. Full story: http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/em/-/1/hi/sci/tech/7303385.stm
Photo: DYE-2, abandoned US Radar station
After a blizzard and six days of non-stop white outs we finaly reached Dye 2 on Sunday. It appeared out of the mist like some long forgotten alien artifact, a great white dome on top dominates the building which, untill August 1988, was constantly manned by US military and government contractors.
We made camp, put on our head torches, and then scouted the area to find an entrance. It wasn't long before we were in, dutifully signing our names in the adhoc visiters registrar. We explored the whole site which had been abandoned in such a hurry by its owners that there were still half eaten meals in the canteen and boxes of unopened beer in the bar - all long past their "best before" dates unfortunately. It was fascinating reading a 20 year old copy of Newsweek, titled "The Greenhouse Effect - More hot summers ahead". I'm sure some in Ireland would take issue with that!
The next morning we set off on perfect snow, covering 45km during the day. Today however was not so good, yet another white out and rain to boot. We still managed 27.9km and would have bettered that had we not ran into a series of fast flowing melt water streams forcing us to make a 2km detour.
We have 118km left to the end of this expedition, it doesn't sound much but it will involve negotiating an expanse of crevasses and pressure ridges as we make our way down the glacial leg. Hopefully, they won’t be as bad as the ones we encountered at the start, 22 days ago.
By the time this was updated, i had a call from Pat who was very excited and confident on them completing the traverse on Saturday 1st or Sunday 2nd of September. They are feeling good and hoped everyone back home was well. They are still having problems with powering from solar, they are now relying on batteries to charge their equipment. All these problems are good training for them for South Pole.
We hope to keep you informed on a daily basis as they approach the western edge of the Greenland ice cap at N 67 08 43 - W 50 02 54 where they will finally come on to solid ground after nearly thirty days on the ice.
Pat called me on Wednesday evening in great form. He said they were all well except for his sled. "The conditions are the same with snow on the ground its quite soft and sticky as the day progresses, We are approx 80km from DYE 2, Our solar power has been zero over the last few days as there is no sun and little light. We have batteries as backup but it means conserving quite a bit of the use. We are also running low on food and time and we will keep you updated on any decisions made towards the final few days, say hi to everyone..."
From DYE 2 they will have approx 185kms to go before they come off the ice cap, they are expecting to encounter the same as the start, lots of crevasses and streams etc., that may hold them up even more.
Photo: Pats Broken Sledge
As the day progressed the blizzard relented and we could just see the sun briefly filtering through the overcast sky. Tomorrow, if we're lucky, we'll finally be able to use the solar panels to charge the battery packs and hence our comms gear and MP3 players.
We haul for eight hour legs per day, each of us leads a leg in rotation. The lead navigates the team whilst cutting a trail through the snow to make the going a little easier for the other team members and their sledges. We navigate using a combination of compass and GPS, the latter to ensure we don’t drift too much - easily done on a featureless landscape with no visible points of reference.
We're currently in our bags and bedding down for another cold night. We've now 300km remaining before we can have a pint.
Irish adventurers Pat Falvey and Dr Clare O Leary will navigate, walk, ski and swim on a historical icy voyage of 784km on a 55 day expedition of endurance man-hauling their sleds across the rugged broken melting arctic ocean. Their only means of survival and rest in this hostile arena is a thin skin of manmade material their tent.
UPDATE: North Pole 2011 website page coming soon, stay tuned, check our news page until then.
They will endure cold that can reach up to -60 Celsius as they battle to fend off frost bite and keep themselves warm. Due to Global warming and climate change they will encounter many ice flows that will obstruct their way North and may have to swim across them in sub zero temperatures with the abyss of over 4000 meters of arctic sea below them.
They will negotiate massive pressure ridges with moving tumbling ice blocks the size of houses which are created by moving currents as they grind the weakness’s the ice of the arctic ocean together to explode skywards. .
They will have to carry with them their food of over 7500 calories a day, tent, stoves, fuel, communication system and all equipment to survive was is equated to over 55 consecutive marathons.
Follow them on a journey of endurance, as they plan, train and execute one of mans greatest adventurers as they set out to reach the Geographic North Pole.
“Like all great adventurers, expedition and great challenges in life, this cannot be done alone, it is a team supporting you that help you get through, Our trainers and coaches, family and friends and of course you the people that support and have followed both of us over the years. We look forward to keeping you updated on all aspects of the expedition. The motivation, focus, vision, training, hardships, science, history and educational value of life in a freezer.”
Pat Falvey is a veteran of over 65 exciting adventures while Clare O'Leary is a veteran of 22. Highly motivated and positive they will join forces and their expertise in partnership on yet another thrilling adventure as they take on one of the world’s great challenges. This will also Pat and Clare finish the three Pole Challenges as they have already skied to the South Pole, and climbed Mount Everest.