Day 24 - The Waiting Game
It's not over till it's over.
Our logistics wizards at Expeditions Unlimited, our Polar Experience back office team, and most importantly our Air Greenland helicopter pilots remained on standby for the entire day and evening yesterday in the hope of executing a helicopter pickup for Lorenz, Cordula, Matthieu and Dixie.
It was not to be.
While the weather in Upernavik was favourable, the conditions at our expedition team's camp was "wild and wooly" with sustainable wind gusts in the neighbourhood of 40 knots. Even when the blizzard's snowfall stopped, these agressive winds kicked up a discernibility nightmare of blowing snow making it impossible for a helicopter to safely land. Dixie captured a relatively short-lived calm break in the action in this photo, a scene that lasted a mere 5 minutes before regressing to zero visibility.
And so we find ourselves living the very definition of adventure.
Unpredictable. Impotent to Mother Nature. Humbling. Duration unknown.
Recognisable characteristics that we are all incessantly experiencing in the year 2020, but in this case our team is doing so by its own choice. Everyone recognises the privilege of their ability to participate in this journey.
In the world of polar exploration, as it is with all adventurous undertakings, we embark on our grand projects with meticulous preparation and steady focus. We plan for all possible scenarios ... and then we leap. No one really knows what will happen day to day or for that matter minute to minute.
While the ultra-marathon kite sessions during this expedition have required a definite strength of determination, the real mental game has been played during the multiple delays imposed by natural parameters. Even though the team is no longer progressing to a kite-driven point of success, they are now advancing toward the ultimate goal of any expedition: a safe return home.
In the meantime, everyone is using this precious time to digest their activities of the last 24 days. Dixie sent us an intimate peek of his precious logbook, something that he has been reviewing scrupulously from the comparative warmth of his sleeping bag.
Today we repeat the process.
We hope to be able to begin the series of 3 helicopter rotations required to lift our expedition team members and their gear from the Greenland Ice Cap and deposit them gently into the welcoming town of Upernavik. The weather predictions are admittedly less than optimal, but we shall see.
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