Congratulations to the Expeditionary Flight team on reaching the North Pole! Arctic weather and timing can be fickle, but everything was perfect today, and the team had a very special (and very long!) visit at the top of the world. The sun was shining, the sky was blue, the winds were calm, and our seven team members made the most of their experience.
|The charter flight from Longyearbyen takes about 2.5 hours|
|The helicopter that delivered the team to the North Pole.|
Incredibly there were two separate engagements! Yes, engagements, to be married! We extend out most heart felt congratulations to Xin and Yichen, who celebrated their very special commitment with a traditional Chinese ceremony involving copper rings and a red string symbolizing unity and the convergence of their two hearts. And we extend our congratulations to Talmon, on his very clever proposal, and his beautiful bride-to-be Chinka, who was surprised to find a ring at the bottom of her glass of champagne at the North Pole.
|Standing at the North Pole. Love was in the air!|
|A temperature of -25 C was "pleasantly cold".|
In addition to love being "in the air" there was also the sense of inspiration and awe at standing at the point where all lines of longitude converge and all time zones meet. What time is it at the North Pole? The answer is, "what time do you want it to be?!!" Team members celebrated with phone calls home, photos, and toasts from their glasses. The drink of choice? The "Aurora Borealis" (the official cocktail of the North Pole) which is 2/3 champagne, 1/3 vodka and a scoop of ice from the North Pole swirled in. It's delicious!
The team spent an exciting 2.5 hours at the North Pole before returning to the Borneo Basecamp where they settled in for a night of continued festivities. When they phoned in they were well into their 4th bottle of wine, with additional reserves on the table "breathing." They had a hearty dinner, and though sleep can be elusive under the 24 hour sunlight of the Arctic spring we hope that they will catch a few Z's so that they can fully enjoy their day tomorrow.
|The Borneo Basecamp and runway from the air.|
|The team will spend the night here, in one of the blue tents.|
Make sure to check back again tomorrow for another update from the team!