Warp speed – and “poof!” – our North Pole team is already back in Longyearbyen. Time to celebrate!
At 11:15 this morning, a helicopter whisked our Polar Experience North Pole participants from their final camp at 90° North and brought them back to Barneo Ice Station where their flight to Longyearbyen was waiting on the frozen runway with engines running. Their departure went so fast that a sled was actually left behind, although our friends at Barneo have promised to return it to Dixie on the next flight. They did, however, stop long enough to capture this group photo of a radiant, successful & safe team.
By 15:00 our group landed in Longyearbyen where hot showers and fresh clothes awaited them. As of right now, they are beginning their celebration in a local restaurant where cold drinks, hot food and a relaxed atmosphere allow them the chance to unwind and just breathe. No polar bears to chase awaty (at least inside the restaurant), no tents to erect, no stoves to struggle with in the cold wind … luxury at its finest. Everyone agrees that the celebration feels incomplete without Luc and Philippe, but they plan to raise at least one glass to them this evening.
We’d like to profoundly thank our friends at Vicaar/Norpolex for their expertise and simply mind-boggling logistics at Barneo Ice Camp. Their safe support of our expeditions is deeply appreciated every single time that we work with them. A special “Spasiba!” to Victor Serov, Leonid Plenkin and Victor Boyarsky for all that they do year after year to make Barneo a reality. You are true magicians!
Un grand merci to Eric Bonnem at Expeditions Unlimited for his compassionately human and extraordinarily flexible manner in travel arrangements. We give him complicated corners of the globe to navigate and he does it every single time with grace & style.
To all family, friends, loved ones and supporters of this expedition: Thank You from the bottom of our hearts! It is an expedition all its own to support someone on such an adventure, and your encouragement means more than our participants can express.
It is now time to wrap up our 2017 Arctic polar guiding season. Dixie plans to take a short break and work in his Belgian garden for a few days … touching earth always means so much after an extended time on the ice. But very soon, we’ll all be back for more fun in the polar regions.