Left to right: David Mans, Billy Gammon, crouching on floor is Mark Delstanche, Mark Beaumont is holding the camera, Rob Sleep is in the boat and Jock Wishart standing. Photo courtesy of: Old Pulteney Row to the Pole
It’s not news that ice is melting at rapid and unprecedented rates in the Arctic. To draw more attention to the problem, six British rowers are in the midst ofan adventure that is only possible because the ice is vanishing.
Last week, the crew of six embarked on the first attempt to row to the Magnetic North Pole. If successful, it will be the first open-boat polar expedition to the Pole since Ernest Shackleton’s historic trip in 1896, according to an article in the Mirror. The team plans to row 450 miles in sections, with stretches of up to 60 miles a day. Each rower will consume about 7,000 calories per day.
So far, the trip is going well, according to posts on the expedition website. After two trouble-free days, the team took advantage of good conditions to row through the night across the challenging Wellington Channel.
“Tough, but in three hours shifts we were able to share the effort evenly and in ideal seas,” wrote rower Billy Gammon. “The oddest thing here is convincing yourself its really is night. 24 hour daylight plays tricks on you.”
Besides rowing, the crew is hoping to “provide scientific insight into the Arctic’s changing landscape and how the human body deals with these extreme temperatures,” explains the website’s science page. Crewmember David Mans is an oceanographer, and he will be leading efforts to collect temperature and salinity data from waters crossed throughout the expedition. “This will be first data captured from these waters and will provide a base line for all future studies.”