So what is this talk about flying south? When I am not driving the Patrol together with Espen I work as a chef, and my last jobs have been in rather cold places.
When we started planning an overland trip our first plan was to travel in South America, but then I got offered a job as a chef at Catlin Arctic Surveys camp in the Canadian Arctic. After five great summer seasons working in Antarctica, being able to working in the Canadian Arctic for 2 ½ months was too tempting to let down. With that our first plan changed and we said we would start our overland travel in North America and then travel down to South America.
Catlin Arctic Survey’s camp was put up on the sea ice west of Ellef Ringnes Island in the territory of Nunavut, Canada (78°45’N 103°30’W), and camp staff were there to support scientists doing their work on ocean acidification. You can read more about the Catlin Arctic Survey on http://www.catlinarcticsurvey.com/ At the most we were 11 people in camp, and it was a great group of people to work with. Living on the sea ice for a while was an amazing experience. When we first put up camp, the nights were dark, but for every day the sun got higher and higher above the horizon and in the end we had midnight sun. The changing light and the ice formations is what I remember best from the Arctic because it is different from everything else I have seen. We did not see any polar bears, and even if I would have liked to see one I was glad not to encounter one in our tent camp.
Here is a short video that was made about my job in the Arctic. http://www.catlinarcticsurvey.com/2010/12/15/extreme-cooking-2/
While I was enjoying myself in the Arctic, Espen flew to Florida and picked up the Patrol. He had a detour to Moab, and then headed north to pick me up in Calgary when I flew out from Resolute. From Calgary we headed north to Alaska and Prudhoe Bay, where we turned around, and from there we have traveled south for 17 months. Now we are at the end of the road on the American continent, and a while back I signed up for my sixth season as a chef for ALE Antarctic Logistic & Expeditions (http://www.antarctic-logistics.com/) in their camp at Union Glacier. ALE flies to Antarctica from Punta Arenas, Chile (next to Tierra del Fuego), and it is just one long day driving from Ushuaia. Arriving in Punta, Espen told me that this was probably the first and only time he would drive me to work….
In Punta Arenas it was time to re-pack going from an overland travel to go to work three months in Antarctica.
This is more or less all the stuff I will bring with me onto the ice. Now we just have to wait for the weather (http://www.yr.no/place/Antarctica/Other/Union_Glacier/long.html ) in Union Glacier to cooperate so the Ilyushin IL76 can fly the 3060 km (4 hours and 15 minutes) to get to the camp at S 79 46’40’’ W 83 19’15’’.
The runway in Antarctica is a blue ice runway and here is a photo from a previous season when we went out for a stroll on the runway.
Union Glacier Camp is a tent camp, but a much larger one than the one in the Arctic. At Union Glacier we can get up to 130 people in camp at the most. This season will be a bit different from the others as Espen also got a job on the ice doing dishes and helping in the kitchen. Since we both will be in Antarctica for 2 -3 months we will try to write a couple of blog updates on camp life from the ice. Enjoy the comfort living with a heated house and with running water while waiting for our first update from the frozen continent J