Thursday, April 18th, 1985 (Log Day 1)

Eleven members of Project North Pole #19 met at 7:00 PM in the Crown Suite of the Westin Hotel in Edmonton for cocktails. A Welcome Dinner followed at 8:00 PM. The group included Robert Antol from Fishkill, New York; Robert Burns from Tampa, Florida; Elsieanna Graff from Bonxville, New York; Robert Kaller from Carmel, California; Thomas and Patricia Largen from Sanford, Florida; Frances Rogers from Alexandria, Virginia; William Savy from Geneva, Switzerland; Jagannathan Srinivasaraghavan (better known as Van) from Northbrook, Illinois; Earl Wilkinson from Manila, Philippines; and myself, Patricia Sutherland from Ottawa, Canada.

After briefly getting acquainted over aperitifs, we sat down to a delicious seven-course meal which included reindeer meat and fresh strawberries with sabayon (menu attached). During our first course, Tom Largen read a telegram from Diana Klein of Society Expeditions which explained George Llano's absence from this expedition, and which outlined my background and qualifications for assuming the role of group leader and lecturer. Everyone was asked to formally introduce themselves by name, place of residence and occupation, and they were also requested to explain why they had decided to take a trip to the North Pole. During dessert, the group was briefed on the itinerary, logistics, weather, clothing, health hazards and other aspects of Arctic travel, as well as what to expect in terms of wildlife, northern communities and native people. There were quite a number of questions concerning the type of gear that ought to be taken. Earl Wilkinson was planning to stay in the Arctic for another week or so to participate in a bear hunt, and thought that he might need extra equipment, so the dining room staff was asked about camping stores in Edmonton.

About 9:30 PM the twelfth member of the expedition, Nigel Larn from London, England arrived. Nigel was briefed on what we had already discussed and then we talked about plans for the following day in Edmonton, which included a number of choices for the morning and a visit to the Polar Park in the afternoon. There were a few more questions and then at about 11:00 PM, we called it an evening. It was a lovely, clear night in Alberta's capital, following a day of sunshine and a high temperature of approximately 15 degrees Celsius (60 degrees Fahrenheit). The Crown Suite gave us a good view of the city lights. In a couple of days there would be no city lights, and we would experience 24 hours of daylight.

copyright (c) 1985 Patricia Sutherland

For more information, contact Bob Antol
URL: file - logDay1.html