Getting techy with it…


Having scared Kevin at Storm PR witless a few days ago by e-mailing him from Mike’s account, I’m now having to pretend to be Mike yet again by blogging using his WordPress login. But to compensate for this blatant lack of technical knowledge in linking myself into the PolarIce blog, I have made a major techy breakthrough in understanding how to plot the boys’ progress using Mike’s ultra-user-unfriendly mapping program. This really is no great shakes in the general scheme of things – and it’s certainly not going to help the boys get across the Greenland ice cap any easier – but it is strangely comforting to those of us left at home to watch a dot move across a map and know both that they’re making progress and someone knows where they are.

I remember exactly the same feeling when the boys took part in the 2006 Sony Polar Challenge. Each day, the teams’ positions were updated on a map, so friends and family could watch as the race progressed. Of course this was all the more exciting as it became clear that the PolarIce team (then ATP), were gaining an unassailable lead (fickle, moi?). When they crossed the finish line, over 15 hours ahead of the team in second place, everyone back at home shared in the jubilation, despite the fact that it was nearly a week before the boys were flown back to civilisation and we were able to talk to them and congratulate them on their achievement.

This time there is no race, other than to make a flight on 4th May. However,  for the other girlfriends, mothers, grandfathers (the list goes on…), I will be plotting PolarIce’s progress as frequently as possible, in order that we can all feel part of the journey. Well, from the comfort of our own homes and in the glorious spring weather we’re enjoying, obviously!  

Each progress point will be dated according to when I received the coordinates from the team out on the ice. I have also added IlulissatKangerlussuaq and Point 660. Ilulissat is the planned finishing point, all being well. However, if the wind conditions do not improve, the current back-up plan is to cut across to Kangerlussuaq, Greenland’s main air transport hub. The ice actually stops approximately 30 km short of Kangerlussuaq, so the boys will need to head to Point 660 – the easiest place to exit the ice sheet as there is a road to Kangerlussuaq, and where the team can be picked up by 4X4.

In the meantime, I will continue to bombard the team’s long-suffering families with daily updates and look forward to when the boys will return to the UK when I shall be cashing in my good girlfriend points…!



2 Responses to “Getting techy with it…”

  1. Alison Says:

    Brilliant Ruth!
    It is great to have a rough idea of where they are/going. The old atlases were not terribly informative and strangely the web was only good on the normal tourist routes of which the Hahn glacier does not seem to be a ‘must do feature’. Not reknown for cuddly things, fish or bergs!
    There’s a good breeze here to-day, so perhaps it will reach Greenland and give them a push. I guess that the decision point won’t be critical for another week at least.
    Regarding the position, am I right in supposing that for some reason they have decided to place the seconds (“) between the degrees and the minutes (‘). Maybe this is how the americans do it – afterall they can’t get days and months the right way round – no sense of the Time dimension. Best Wishes Alison

    • mikedann Says:

      I’m glad you’ve got a clue what all the numbers mean….! I have been forwarding the updates exactly as I have been receiving them, so I’m assuming they’re using some kind of standard notation. R

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