How do you relate to The Arctic

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

MLAE-2011 Kara Sea, Pancake Ice. Vasily Elagin

APRIL 6 2011

Yemelya-4 crossing open water in Kara Sea, Arctic Ocean. MLAE-2011
Yemelya-3 sliding off into polynya, Kara Sea, Arctic Ocean. MLAE2011
The expedition has covered 2558 km since leaving Urengoy. We are currently at the latitude of Voronin island and seven kilometers to the east from it. In front of us is polynya. It separates us from the long-awaited shore ice belt which we believe continues all the way to Sredniy island. Last three days were spent battling the ridges and polynyas. We had never before in all of our preceding expeditions to the Arctic encountered such density of obstacles per kilometer. Kara Sea fast tracked our new recruits’ apprenticeship course. Each day requires the use of the entire arsenal of our ice ridge negotiation instruments.
Ladder driving course.
In the Kara Sea we encountered a thoroughly new to us type of obstacle: fields of pancake ice with round “pancakes” from 5 to 20 meters in diameter, with icy snow fringes, some over a meter tall. Between them – cracks up to a meter deep. Driving over these, “pancakes” is and experience you wouldn’t wish to your worst of enemies, not to mention our beloved “Red” and “Green” buggies. They drive over this horrible terrain in first and second gear while managing to pull three trailers after them, which puts great strains on their transmissions. But thus far the machines are handling it well. We all miss our friends and relatives and send greetings to everyone back home.

Vasily Elagin.

Translated from Russian by Ilya Kovalev

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