Sunday, April 21st, 1985 (Day 4)

Waiting in Resolute - Meeting the Cast of Players

First, some interesting facts about Resolute Bay: If you were to buy a breakfast, lunch or supper here (and fortunately we didn't have to pay), it would cost you:

    Breakfast $27.00
    Lunch $45.00
    Supper $62.00

Electricity is charged by the kilowatt. The following are comparative charges:

    California 3 cents / kilowatt
    Edmonton 4 cents / kilowatt
    Resolute Bay 37 cents / kilowatt

And now for the log. We all got suited up yesterday at Bezal's place. We were supplied with arctic down underwear (long johns), arctic pants, arctic coat (parka), arctic mittens, face mask, and boots (if needed - I had my own). The equipment is extraordinary. I will not be worried about getting cold. Speaking of which, it was 27 degrees below zero Fahrenheit yesterday and it is now 30 degrees below zero Fahrenheit.

We had a slide show after a superb dinner. I left in the middle of the show because I wanted to go outside and take pictures of the sunset. The sun set at 10:00 PM and rose at 2:00 AM. By the end of next week, Resolute will be bathed in constant sunlight. The sunset was spectacular! It was a gorgeous red ball setting over a field of snow.

I had no trouble sleeping. I awoke at 6:30 AM and took my last shower for 5 days. Water will be at a minimum farther up north. Breakfast was delicious. If all goes according to schedule, Nigel will be throwing a mass at 8:30 AM. We will then attempt to fly to Lake Hazen if the satellite photographs indicate good weather. It is beautiful here in Resolute right now. But we don't know what it is like further north.

We played pool before dinner last night. There were teams. I played with one of the gentleman from the National Geographic. Both of those guys are great.

Well, the weather report came in. The weather was bad at Eureka. We were supposed to refuel there so we must delay our departure by possibly one day.

Instead, we drove around Resolute looking at old villages made from whale bones dug into the ground. I shot roll #1 today. It contains some shots from Edmonton's Polar Park and the rest are from Resolute Bay. I lost a roll of film today. It may be around here somewhere but I believe it is lost. I will go outside and look around.

Also, some of the pictures were taken at where I stayed in Resolute.

The latest weather report came in. There is 1/2 mile visibility up north. We will be staying in Resolute for the night.

Another comment about roll #2. There are some pictures taken of the Resolute village as seen from the local water storage facility. I ran up the hill and tried to get both the water tanks and the village in the same scene.

I took some shots of the food that we got to eat. All of the food is delicious. Good news - my film has been found.

Speaking of film, roll #1 contains some shots while I was in France and also my arrival in Edmonton.

General comments about the people traveling in this group:

    Charles (Chuck) Bergman
    He is a writer for the National Geographic. He is currently working on an article about wolves in Eureka. That is the main reason he is traveling with us - just to hitch a ride.

    Robert (Bob) Burns
    Bob is a retired Winn Dixie (supermarket) executive. He has a very funny sense of humor and is a joy to travel with. He was the one who found my film. He loves to be comical. For example: We were sitting at the dinner table in Edmonton and when the waiter came over and asked him if he wanted another drink, he said, "Sure. They only cost a dollar, so I can have one more because I only have two dollars." He said this in a typical Florida southern drawl. The waiter didn't know how to take him. Another example: We can only bring one carry-on aboard the airplane. He told Pat, "I only have six carry-ons, I don't see any problem with my bringing a seventh." Pat believed him.

    Elsieanna Graff
    She is an old woman who has traveled around almost everywhere. It will be interesting to see how she does at the pole.

    Robert (Bob) Kaller
    Bob is interesting. He left the dinner the night it took 3 hours to get served. He didn't want to wait. He also bought a new camera to take to the pole. He didn't know how to work it. He should have experimented with it before the trip.

    Patricia (Pat) and Thomas (Tom) Largen
    Tom is a general surgeon from Florida. He had someone build him a sheepskin bag for his camera to keep it warm. They are both fun people. It was so funny watching Pat trying to get into the touring truck. She was all dressed for the arctic and had a hell of a time getting up into the seat.

    Nigel Larn
    Like I said earlier, Nigel is a Roman Catholic priest from London. There was a mass this morning. It was only him and I. He had hosts and some Franciscan wine. After the mass (which was very short), he apologized for not giving a sermon. I laughed and said that was OK. He is my roommate on this trip. I like him. He loves to laugh and really appreciates the beauty that is outside. It was an interesting mass with a priest in arctic pants.

    Frances Rogers
    Frances is also a retired woman with a lot of spunk. She is really looking forward to the Pole.

    William (Bill) Savy
    Bill is from Geneva, Switzerland. He is a stubborn man. When we were being outfitted for the Arctic, he indicated that he did not want any equipment - he had his own. Ridiculous! The equipment we were provided with had no charge and was absolutely fabulous. Why would he turn it down? It would be like committing suicide going to the Pole without it.

    Jagannathan (Van) Srinivasaraghavan
    Van is from India currently living in Chicago. He is a psychiatrist. Maybe he thinks we're all crazy going on a trip to the Pole but then that makes him crazy because he is going too, so I guess we can't be crazy if a crazy man says we are. He was on a cruise to the South Pole 3 months ago. He has been to every continent and loves to travel. He brought with him a wonderful Nikon camera outfit with several lenses. I hope to trade some pictures with him.

    Pat Sutherland
    She is our leader. A very small woman with a lot of enthusiasm. She is very interesting with a lot of archaeological knowledge.

    Earl Wilkinson
    Earl is not listed in the original cast of players. He is from Sydney, Australia and has a great sense of humor. On his Arctic parka, he has stuck a sticker that reads "PERISHABLE - DO NOT FREEZE". I hope the picture I took of him turns out OK.

    Art Wolfe
    Art is the photographer from the National Geographic. He is working with Chuck Bergman on the wolf story. He is a funny guy with a great sense of humor. I will try to get him to take my picture.

And now, some general comments about the trip. My face is the only thing that is getting cold. I have not yet tried my balaclava. I have some wind burn on my cheeks. But what can you expect from a wind chill temperature of 50 degrees below zero Fahrenheit. There is a picture of my boot print in the snow. The significance of the picture is to see how far I sunk while I stood on a snow drift. The snow is so cold, it is solid yet it is not icy.

copyright (c) 1985, 2000 Robert A. Antol

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