Le cauchemar devrait prochainement se terminer pour Mike Horn et Børge Ousland !
Actuellement en grande difficulté en Arctique, les deux amis ne se feront finalement pas sauvés par sa fille Jessica et Hugo Clément avec son voilier, le Pangaea; car il serait compliqué à cause de la distance à laquelle ils se trouvaient du point de rendez-vous. A cause des conditions climatiques difficiles et leurs vivres continuent à s’amenuiser. « Aujourd’hui, à l’endroit où nous nous trouvons actuellement, nous avons parcouru un peu plus de 1300 km en ligne droite, ce qui signifie que nous devrions encore parcourir 300 km si nous souhaitons atteindre Pangea. Avec trois jours de nourriture, ce serait impossible. Nous n’avions donc pas d’autre choix que de proposer un autre plan de ramassage ».
Mike Horn a ensuite dévoilé qu’un autre navire, le Lance, était en route pour venir les récupérer : « Au moment où j’écris ces lignes, Lance est sur le point de nous prendre. Nous nous sommes donné rendez-vous à 82° au nord, ce qui signifie que nous avons encore env. 90 km à parcourir avec ces 3 jours de nourriture restants. Bien que ce soit une bien meilleure option que Pangea, ça restera un appel très serré, mais comme je l’ai dit hier, c’est l’aventure pour laquelle nous nous sommes engagés ! » Espérons pour eux que cette nouvelle mission de sauvetage sera une réussite.
Annika, la fille de Mike Horn s’inquiète chaque jour un peu plus: parti deux mois auparavant pour traverser l’Arctique : « Ses chaussures ont pris l’eau mais heureusement, celle-ci ne s’est pas infiltrée dans les vêtements, son moral est au plus bas. Je ne l’ai jamais vu comme ça, dans un état de fatigue physique extrême. Il est en train de perdre la sensation de ses extrémités, c’est inquiétant. Avec ma soeur Jessica, on veut qu’il rentre vite à la maison. »
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Expedition Update 34: Safe to say that I’ve had easier weekends in my life as an explorer. After last week’s endless obstacles and difficulties, @borgeousland and I are grateful to start the new week with a fresh mindset. Today, despite our sores (as seen on this photo), we are feeling tired but unstoppable…we know the end is near, so now, we must gather up the strength we have left, and fight to get there. What better way to start the week than with a massive storm?! We therefore had no choice but to set camp and wait for the chaos to pass before we can confidently venture outside again. Maybe this is a blessing in disguise in some weird way…our bodies were really in need of some rest after the physical and emotion exhaustion we went through over the weekend. Although we have rarely been in such a bad storm, the bright and uplifting side is this! Finally the wind is in our favour pushing us towards the south, rather than back to the north. This good news certainly gave us an energy boost, and the confidence that maybe we will be able to end this expedition the way we have initially planned. This unexpected turn of events must be due to all the positive vibes you have been sending our way. @AnnikaHorn and @JessicaaHorn have been updating me with your messages of support and I can only admit that this has been giving us the kick of energy we needed. It is a hostile world up here…and the constant unstable conditions have made it quite clear that we are not welcome here. In some twisted way, I ask myself if nature has been taking it out on us because of the manner in which we humans have been treating and respecting our planet…one thing is certain, something is obviously not quite right. With just over one week of food rations left, we are carefully planning each and every next step. We are longing to get home, but there is no giving up…we are here to fight until the very end. Thank you all for your heart-warming support, we will be keeping you closely updated! #NorthPoleCrossing #Pole2Pole #MikeHorn
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Expedition Update 36: Another couple of intense days on the ice. The temperatures are dropping day by day and have now reached as low as -40 C. Extra reason for us to wrap up this expedition and head back home. The positive drift has slowed down but the winds from the north are still helping us progress a couple kilometres a day, which at this stage is extremely helpful. Right now we have two different options to finish this expedition: 1. Get down south as quickly as possible with the food that we have left if we want to fulfil our hopes of being picked up by boat as we had originally planned. 2. If we do not make sufficient progress, a helicopter will have to be called in…but right now, we are ruling out this option in order to fully focus our remaining energy on the final sprint that is required to pass the finish line. It is almost as if @BorgeOusland and I have subconsciously been saving some extra energy just in case we found ourselves in the situation we currently find ourselves in. Just one week ago, we never even imagined we would be making 30km progress in a day during our last week. The body is full of surprises, when you think you have reached your limits, turns out something inside you makes you push them further…and even further! One thing is sure, we want to leave the arctic the way we arrived, that is by boat. But we must also make sure to take into account the risks that this endeavour involves…due to the cold temperatures, we spend a lot of time checking the conditions of our frostbites. As soon as we think we are losing sensation in our extremities, we stop, set up the tent and warm ourselves up until we are ready to head out again. As a result, we have decided to increase the number of walking hours per day just to give ourselves more time to warm up, while making the necessary progress to reach our goal (82 degrees north) which we hope to achieve before our food runs out. Now, we currently find ourselves at 83deg41’, which means we still need to cover over 150km to make it to a position where the boat has its best chances of picking us up. One more week of expedition to go, the race against time officially begins…wish us luck!
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Expedition Update 39: Since there is a lot of information going around, I wanted to share with you our latest plan of action. As most of you know, the goal of this expedition was to be dropped off at 85deg north with my boat Pangaea (Alaska side), to cross the Arctic Ocean via the North Pole (90deg north), over onto the Norwegian side until we reached a satisfying position to be picked up by Pangaea. We estimated this position to be at approx. at 80deg north based on satellite images. This would have totalled up to approx. 1600km (in a straight-line) to cover from start to finish. As the expedition days, weeks and months went by, it became increasingly clear that @BorgeOusland and I were going to be short on food to cover the distance we originally anticipated. From the start of the expedition, our daily progress (av. 15km/day) was a lot less than we expected, mostly due to the surprisingly large amount of open water, bad weather, and negative ice drift pushing us back. Today, at the position where we currently find ourselves (82deg56’), we have covered just over 1300km in a straight-line, which means we would still have to walk another 300km if we wanted to reach Pangaea at 80deg…with 3 days food left, this would be impossible. So we had no other choice but to come up with an alternative pickup plan. Adamant to finish the expedition the same way we started (by boat), we found a Norwegian ice going vessel (Lance), larger than Pangaea, that was willing to help us out. As I write these lines, Lance is on its way to pick us up. We gave each other rendezvous at 82deg north, meaning we still have approx. 90km to cover with those 3 days of food left. Although it is a much better option than Pangaea, it is still going to be a very close call, but as I said yesterday, this is the adventure we signed up for! (On the image above you can see Lance attempted a first entry into the ice before getting stuck, obliging them to turn back and try another lead.) – ***more info on Facebook post*** – I understand that all this information is probably confusing, that is why my team will answer your questions in an Instagram live tomorrow. So prepare your questions and stay tuned!