(Ed’s note: Adventurers Erik Boomer and Jon Turk are about 400 miles and 25-something days into their Ellesmere Island circumnavigation attempt in the high Canadian Arctic. On Sunday, from the Eureka weather station on Ellesmere’s western shores, the pair sent in this dispatch and photos detailing their adventures thus far. Godspeed lads!)
By Erik Boomer
We are at a weather station repacking for our next 50 day leg. We have lots of better shots but they are too big to send on this slow Internet, but we will be able to do more in depth posts when we get back.
We have been traveling really well so far. We have skied about 380 miles in 23 days—we could not have asked for better ice conditions thus far. Lots of adverse and dramatic weather: Really hot, then really cold, etc. We really have to be ready to throw on different layers all day long depending on what the polar environment gives us.
We have been fortunate to see a lot of wildlife—a pack of Arctic wolves yesterday, polar bears, Muskox, seals. We have woken to our boats being drifted in because of high winds and drifting snow. Jon and I are both feeling really good right now, our muscles are in great shape and we have improved our efficiancy every week. Jon and I are both amazed at how quickly the days go by. A few days ago we noticed some of the first signs of the sea ice melting and changing; we skied 15 miles through calf-deep icy slush water pools, but now we are back on mostly firm ice for the time being. To me it feels kind of like trail running, picking and choosing each step over the uneven sea ice.
In about 10 days, the travelling will most likely get very difficult because the ice on the north shore is known as some of the roughest ice in the world and we will be traversing it after skiing 500 miles with 250-pound loads!
• And the latest from the Ellesmere Expedition blog, on Turk’s website, jonturk.net/content/blog.