Thursday, 26 July 2007

Almost Famous

I've put together a slide show of pictures from our trip like I promised. You can find it at
Since we got home we have done quite a lot of media work. Me (Isabelle) and Verity went to Bristol BBC to be on Points West News and Gloucestershire Radio. The radio was great fun even though we had a bit of trouble when my microphone and headset didn't work!
We've also had a article in the Stroud News and Journal and we've talked to the Citizen. It is going to be really strange going back to normal life after all this! We've been home over a week and I'm still missing the Arctic and all the people we met!
Hope you enjoy the slide show,

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

Our Arctic Adventure!

Hi everyone.
We're back from the arctic now and trying to get used to normal life again. We'll put a little slide show of our best pictures up soon so you can have a look at them. For now I'll tell you about some of the things we did. We spent our first 3 days in Longyearbyen, during that time we did water and polar bear safety training, visited a satellite station and met various scientists at Unis (Svalbard university). We spent the next week on board the Polaris, a Russian ice breaker! On the Polaris we traveled further and further north until we reached the edge of the pack ice! Along the way we saw a polar bear, a fin whale, reindeer, arctic foxes etc. Visited the worlds most northernly settlement; Ny-Alesund, which also has the worlds most northernly post office and shop! Climbed a mountain called 'the view' which defiantly lived up to its name!

Had a snowball fight, got attacked by birds and swam in the arctic ocean then made snow angles at 79 degrees north! And thats not nearly all of it!
Being at the pack ice itself was amazing. The place has a kind of desolate beauty. It seems to go on for ever. It really does feel like you've reached the edge of the world. We were also lucky enough to get to stand on the ice. At that point we were probably the most northern people on the planet!As well as doing all this we also got to know everyone else on the trip. We all made loads of new friends and are really missing everyone now that were back home. Hopefully we'll get a reunion at Christmas.
Heres a little fact for you: 60% of Svalbard is glaciers. I can't say for certain but I'd be willing to bet that most of the other 40% is mountains. I don't think we ever went anywhere where you couldn't see mountains or glaciers, its incredible and of course very beautiful.

We'll get some pictures on the blog soon I promise.

Saturday, 14 July 2007

Heading for home

The teams should be in Oslo by now on their way home. It's going to be so amazing to see all the photos and hear about their experiences, I can hardly wait. It seems there's been very limited access to phones or internet since early in the trip, so sorry for the lack of updates on this blog but when you're on a real adventure perhaps it's best to be full immersed in it and away from modern communications. It looks like there's been time for some fun in the last day or two with sighseeing trips, fossil hunting and dog sledging (without the snow!). More pics here...

Wednesday, 11 July 2007

Most northerly people on the planet

Very surprised to get a phone call last evening from Isabelle on the pack ice at around 82 degrees north. Calling from a satellite phone she said she had been told she was the most northerly person on the planet... how cool is that. I'm guess they all took turns being the most northery person in the group and calling home. Typically we were out so she only got the speak to the good ol' answer machine but she called back later for a brief chat and sounded really exited about everything that they've been doing... it's going to be so hard to come back home!

Anyway as there seems to be some ignorance about where on earth Svalbard is I've prepared the map above which explains everything. There really isn't much of the world above 82 degrees north. Today they're going back to Ny-Ă…lesund the most northerly permenant settlement on the planet at 78.5 degrees north.

Tuesday, 10 July 2007

Ice Angels

Not much news from the north for a few days, except a few minutes on BBC Breakfast. Some more pictures just appeared on the IceEdge site including some of the HVGI team and this one of Grian and Issy doing their Ice Angel thing. Doesn't seem like there's been time (or internet access) for blogging. However the bits I've seen are more than enough to make me soooo jealous... looks like they've seen polar bears, whales, arctic foxes and loads of plankton through a microscope... and still had time to for loads of fun. I saw this article about a record breaking swim in the Arctic Ocean but doesn't seem so amazing now I've seen pics of the kids swimming (a bit) in the same freezing water. Mind you it looked like nice weather!

Friday, 6 July 2007

Svalbard (so far)

Hi everyone!!
we're here in svalbard! staying in longyearbyen. we're having a GREAT time so far! we did a saftety training course today. we had to learn all about polarbears and how to protect ourselves from them without hurting them unless really needed. we wactched while they fired all sorts of guns, it made us all jump! we also did water safety training which meant swimming in the arctic sea!! Because its a bit cold we had giant orange dry suits (like bubbles!) to keep us warm! they went all sucky inny on you!!! it was lush becasue it has been all beautiful and sunny all day so the water was all blue! we havnt managed to get a present yet for mr. rusty but we'll try tomorow!!
for more info about our trip you could try the iceedge blog which is :
we'll write again from the boat which we are catching tomrow night!!
You can see more picture of us swimming in the sea on the Edge website

Thursday, 5 July 2007

Our First Message From Svalbard

Isabelle writes - having a great time. the 24 hr sunlight is really weird. the mountains looked lush in the plane on the way over, all covered in snow. we went to the worlds biggest satellite tracking station today which was interesting.

there's not so much snow here but there should be more higher up. can u put some of what i've written on the blog for us cause there aren't enough computers here.

we saw a reindeer yesterday. its not really that cold here but it might get colder. sorry that you couldn't come too. we'll get you a present!

(well I'm looking forward to my present says Mr Rusty & can't wait for the next bulletin)...