March 05, 2009: 36th short message (11:57 a.m. MEZ)
Trapped between mountains
It is really stressful. On the one hand we are trying hard to find and modify a 12v fan engine, one the other hand the weather conditions appr. 30km outside of the mine are such extreme, that we are not able to continue. A convoy consisting out of 2 D10 bulldozer, one chain-driven vehicle in front and 7 trucks, which is on its way to the mine of Ewekinot, is trapped in snow masses since several days. Nobody knows where they are. They assume them to be appr. 32km away from Valonisti in valley in front of the dreaded pass. There is no radio contact with the trapped people and no dozers are starting due to safety reasons. It is simply not possible. Even a scout car which intented to start today came back. Sh**.
March 06, 2009: 37th short message (05:05 a.m. MEZ)
Engine fan is working. We built one by our own out of several Jeep and non-Jeep parts as well as Russian wrapping technique. It is spinning in the wrong direction but that doesn't matter. Main point is a non overheating vehicle and that we can continue our journey with F2. We will see if it provides the same performance with full load and trailer.
Furthermore, more or less catastrophic circumstances. Snowfall and winds are hardly weakening. We are not able to leave. Got stuck. A second convoy from the direction of Pevek also got stuck somewhere between 50 to 150km away from here. That means there are 12 trucks, 3 crawlers and 1 chain-driven scout vehicle with 30 people in total have to wait for improvement in the weather somewhere in the wilderness.
In terms of the situation, we currently have double risk. Insufficient fuel and too extreme track. We currently have 600l prepared fuel mixture. Normally that would perfectly be enough for the 300km to Egvekinot. But as we assume to be trapped in snow again, that could become scarce. Therefore we decided to wait for one of the convoys. If the one from Pevek is arriving first, we will refuel another 400l and start on our way. Then there would still be the risk of being trapped in the snow, but we are able to wait in warmth. If the convoy from Egvekinot is arriving first, we will start with the fuel reserve we have right now. As crossing of the pass must be possible, that reserve should be sufficient. Either way, we have to leave here. It is really blatant. The men told us, that last year was hardly any snow in whole Tschukotka. This year there are really huge amounts of snow masses - even for experienced ones.
March 07, 2009: 38th short message (10:32 a.m. MEZ)
We started and try to reach Egvekinot.
We already wanted to decamp yesterday, but after a scouting at the first mountain with a chain-driven vehicle we realized that there was no chance. Today morning at 10 a.m., we noticed the first D10 bulldozer arriving at the mine. We were told, that 2 out of 3 bulldozer left the convoy appr. 35km away in front of Valonisti, due to insufficient fuel for another night. We started immediately in order to use the brand-new cleaned track. Now after 10 hours of driving we are appr. 45km away from the mine. The snow masses are unbelievable stirred. The trucks broke more than 1.5m deep into the snow surface. Extraordinary hard work for us to come through.
Team in good health, vehicles ok, fuel reserve low - only 350l left. We turn down the engines at every stop, heating with the Webasto Air-Tops as they only need a maximum of 0.5l per hour. Outside temperature appr. -30°. Food reserve for appr. 6 days. We have to escape here. It is really a fight against time and a decreasing fuel reserve.
GPS Cords: N 66 39`22" / E 178 19`16"
March 08, 2009: 39th short message (07:14 a.m. MEZ)
We thank all Russian friends who we were able to meet in the mine and who helped us wherever possible. Starting with the possibility to sleep in the rooms of the workers, further the donation of the last available 300l fuel in the mine (it was from the vehicle of the director!), further the ladies who stitched our tattered clothes and so on and so on...
Nevertheless it was time to continue. We had to leave this white mountain area as fast as possible, which kept us in a gilded cage in this gorgeous region in the snow.
It was a struggle against time and decreasing fuel reserve until we reached the roadcamp 20 hours after our start from Valonisti. Due to the fact that we received the warning from the German Weather Service, that a strong-wind-area (hurricane) will hit us (Sunday 12 p.m.), we had a time frame of 24 hours to escape there. That means continuous winching, driving, and shoveling from yesterday 12 p.m. until today morning at 8 a.m. Fast driving in order to reach the destination before the storm meant a higher fuel consumption, slower driving meant led to a decreasing time limit. Basically we had the rule: We have to escape, the show must go on.
And we succeeded. We reached the camp (app. 100km in front of Egvekinot) with the beginning of the increasing wind intensity. We should not have arrived any 2-3 hours later as there is such a storm right now again, that you cannot see your hand in front of your face. If we would not have managed it, all tracks of the convoy would have been gone and we would have been trapped to wait another week in the mountains.
We decided to wait here until the storm is over and to prepare the vehicles and trailers for the upcoming last 1000km on Russian ground. We were kindly offered two small rooms with bed in the camp and given the possibility to use the big garage of the cleaning dozers.
On our way towards Egvekinot, we also crossed the 180th degree of longitude! Now we are in the West and GPW-wise everything is the other way round.
GPS cords: N 67 01`21" / W 178 56`00"
March 11, 2009: 40th short message (09:25 p.m. MEZ)
After an unsuccessful try to reach Egvekinot starting from the roadcamp yesterday (we had to cancel due to the heavy snow storm), we managed it tonight. We just arrived.
March 13, 2009: 41st short message (03:48 a.m. MEZ)
After some administrative tasks and the last refueling in Russia (enough for 2700l of bioethanol mixture) we returned to the road department yesterday. Just now we left this camp near Amguema and try to reach the village of Vacarem at the Arctic Ocean which is appr. 200km away
March 13, 2009: 42nd short message (10:06 a.m. MEZ)
Big setback / again heavy damage. Again a broken accessory differential. The manufacturer says they seem to be too weak for the expedition vehicles. Stronger ones should have been used. We were standing for hours somewhere in the deep snow and tried to get F2 ready. F2, the vehicle which was already modified with a totally new accessory differential out of F3. Currently we try to reach the road camp again with a rough-and-ready fixed vehicle. F1 is towing both trailers. That's really a damn bad situation. I am totally upset. The third rear-axle differential within 5000km. We will try to repair it as I brought spare differentials for a huge amount of money with me on my return flight to Russia - in wise foresight and with support of the differential manufacturer.
The worst thing is that we lost minimum two days of optimal weather conditions again. What a crap.
March 13, 2009: 43rd short message (01:14 p.m. MEZ)
Just now we drove the 1600th km with the Goodyear Wrangler MT/R on both vehicles with an air pressure not above 0.5 bar without any damage. Additionally there was no tire damage at any vehicle or trailer since Paris. That means 26123 harmless kilometers under toughest expedition conditions.
March 13, 2009: 44th short message (01:48 p.m. MEZ)
We reached the roadcamp after 6.5 hours of driving. The situation with the differential is really such annoying that the nerves of team were all on edge. To make matters worse, all drivers are on the winter ways and the house was locked. We are standing in front of the door, but ok. Outside temperature: -32°C. We are only running the good Webastos to save fuel which is already reduced due to the damage. We hope that there is anyone coming back tomorrow, that we can enter the garage. Otherwise we will change the differential in front of the door.
March 14, 2009: 45th short message (11:40 p.m. MEZ)
We changed the differential under most difficult conditions and just started over again - 42 hours after the breakdown. We kept on repairing and hardly slept. We hope to reach Vacarem at the Artic Ocean. Weather conditions perfect. Appr. -30°C and sunshine.
GPS cords: N 67 16`57" / W 178 39`22"
March 15, 2009: 46th short message (09:54 a.m. MEZ)
We are struggling for every further kilometer in direction of Vancarem. Currently we are appr. 55km in front of the village. So far, we needed 13 hours for 130km. Since the last mine, which was located appr. 90 km behind the roadcamp, there is nothing but a small slope, made by a chain-driven vehicle. The vehicles manage the situation very good, although we have to shovel and break the track over and over again. Weather is excellent. Nearly no wind and starlit. We are only running on air pressure of 0.1 (front) and 0.2 (rear) any more.
GPS cords: N 67 40`00" / W 176 50`59"
March 15, 2009: 47th short message (03:04 p.m. MEZ)
We did it. We reached Vacarem at the Arctic Ocean, which is inhabited by Chukchi people, after shoveling, track scouting, deflating, winching and so on. Temperature appr. -30°C, storm force 4, light snow fall. Team in good health, fuel reserve ok. Now we are resting. Together with local people we will tomorrow discuss the opportunity to reach Nuteplement from here. The countdown to the Bering Strait started: Appr. 400km left.
March 21, 2009: 48th short message (11:18 p.m. MEZ)
The plan was to decamp at 5 a.m., but due to a delay with the welding repair at F1, it is now 10.30 a.m. Wind is starting to blow. The predicted next storm arriving. Visibility appr. 300m, we eventually have to stay here until the storm is over. The DWD forecasted bad weather until the end of the week.
March 22, 2009: 49th short message (01:59 a.m. MEZ)
Perhaps it is the right time for news I normally do not write, but it reflects our feelings.
Certainly the expedition is currently in a difficult situation. Due to the global economic crisis we have to bare big losses. Exhausted of many technical backlashes and the fight against snow masses (more intense than for a long time), we are mobilizing every possible motivation to stand up against the difficulties. We try to fight with all power and emotion for continuation and hope that history is on our side.
Thanks to all who currently work for us, believe in us and keep their fingers crossed. Thanks to my team in Limburg, explicitly to you, Jürgen for you tremendous amount of good work and invested time.
The upcoming storm is taking our breath. If we do not manage to escape before it arrives, we have to stay here in Vacarem for another week. We try it and decamp. We informed nuteplement, we have left a note to a driver who is on his way to Vacarem. If necessary both can come for help.
March 22, 2009: 50th short message (04:49 a.m. MEZ)
We got stuck in the ice and have to shovel a lot. Currently overheated engine. Fan out of order. Emergency reparation done. After 1 hour warmth again in the vehicle.
THREE kilometers in THREE hours.
March 22, 2009: 51st short message (12:57 p.m. MEZ)
How much effort did we invest and with us so many others, but ...
The "Paris / New York - Transcontinental 2009" - expedition currently came to a stop. Yesterday evening the journey was ended by a heavy hit at F1. We do not know the reason by now, but currently a continuation is impossible with that noise emission.
We are currently located at GPS cords N 67 48`03" / W 175 46`47" onto the Artic Ocean directly at the shore line.
Team is in good health, food reserve for 10 days, fuel reserve 1300l.
March 22, 2009: 52nd short message (09:00 p.m. MEZ)
Salvage operation finished. Team, vehicle and trailer safely reached Vakarem after 26 hours of driving, supported by a chain driven vehicle. Further progress currently in planning.
March 24, 2009: 53rd short message (01:30 a.m. MEZ)
We try to leave Vacarem as soon as possible before the storm starts over again. We fixed F1 rough-and-ready in 12 hours outside night work. Now it is at least movable. We literally try to punch through to Egvekinot by front drive only. Cross fingers for us. 300km of snow drifts without any other vehicle. The last trucks left Vacarem yesterday before the storm, but did not have F1 movable at that time. Food reserve for 10 days, fuel reserve appr. 530l. Team in good health but partly very tired.
March 24, 2009: 54th short message (05:30 a.m. MEZ)
With the storm behind us, we are shoveling towards Egvekinot. 60km in 12 hours with 2/1 rate. 2 meter forward, 1 meter backward in order to take a run-up... and so on...
March 25, 2009: 55th short message (02:07 a.m. MEZ)
What a drudgery. Team to some extent 46 hours awake - reaching personal limits. 24 hours and 100km with "two-step". 2m forward, 1m backward in order to take a run-up. Continuous shoveling due to snow drifts. We just slept some few hours because we necessarily had to leave the deep snow. We did not catch up with the trucks, so we have to struggle on our own. Food reserve 8 days. Fuel reserve 240l plus full main tank. Visibility worsens. Only minutes between sunhine and maximum 10 meters.
March 25, 2009: 56th short message (04:17 a.m. MEZ)
First one-third with front-drive done. We reached a mine after appr. 61 hours and 108 km behind Vacarem. Since hours we are waiting for a truck which tries to reach the mine of Egvekinot. We will decamp when it arrives in order to use the track. Probably today evening.
March 25, 2009: 57th short message (12:55 p.m. MEZ)
The storm is blowing like everything should be destroyed what has been built by humans here around. No chance of decamping. We will wait until the truck leaves the mine. This will probably happen tomorrow at midday.
March 26, 2009: 58th short message (06:39 a.m. MEZ)
Marco and Konstantin on their way to Egvekinot in the truck. Ulli and Matthias try to break through with the Jeep. Meanwhile lost tire and linchpin rear-left. We provisionally blocked and mounted the tire with belts. I am curious how a Wrangler MT/R manages to be pulled over snow, ice and stones in blocked mode. Will it manage 150km?
GPS cords.: N 67 24`47" / W 177 24`01"
March 26, 2009: 59th short message (06:39 a.m. MEZ)
The tire made it, but after 60km the whole thing broke apart again. We used a wooden piece as runner - 90km left.
March 26, 2009: 60th short message (11:50 p.m. MEZ)
In the last night, we reached Egvekinot with front drive and a missing back wheel. It was an amazing "strange handicap run".
We met two Ural truck drivers on the way, who stayed and helped us. One of them let me cut of his dirt trap of one the wheels in order to build a sledge surface under the wheel, the other gave me his fender and some wood to attach it. At another spot one organized a damaged wheel out of thin air in order to bond it below the axis. Many thanks to you two super truckers.
Now there is the task to quickly organize spare parts for both vehicles. Juergen Graf and his team is busy working on it and they try to make everything possible. I hope we will manage it in short time. Together with the team I am currently working on further solutions. We have still a maximum of 8 weeks left to reach Uelen. After that, snow and ice will melt and it would be impossible.
April 02, 2009: New video clip
Dear partners, friends, and fans,
The expedition is currently still in Egvekinot, and the expedition team as well as the employees from Limburg/Germany and all involved helpers are working with full pressure on necessary reparations and the development of strategies for the further progress of the expedition according to the current challenges.
In order to let you participate in the life of the team, we finalized and provide you a new video clip of the part from Jaktusk to Bilibino via the following link:
Dear partners, friends, participants, supporters and all we met or who excitingly follow us,
We were bound and determined to return to Russia still in April in order to continue and successfully finish the “Paris / New York – Transcontinental” - expedition in 2009. However, on Wednesday, April 8, 2009, after due consideration and the check of all possible scenarios, we had to take the difficult decision to suspend the expedition for app. 6 months. The decision is based on the project goals, whose compliance is top priority for us.
Snow masses, which are exceptional also for the Tschukotka-region, strong gale-force storms and blizzards as well as reparations at the vehicles led to a uncatchable time difference in contrast to the necessary schedule, despite absolutely most effort of the whole team.
The “driving over the Bering Strait on ice” and the “traceless managing of all parts (also the difficult app. 2500km at the Alaskan west coast) would not be possible, even not on a route much more in the north. Therefore we will continue the expedition in fall/winter 2009/2010 with the following unchanged goals:
- Accomplishment of a historical, spectacular journey with the use of renewable energies
- Traceless round the world with a CO2-neutral balance
- Driving across the Bering Strait
- On the track of the emigration of nations round the world on wheels for the first time ever
Among others, the upcoming time will be used to neutralize the so far produced amount of CO2 with tree plantings and the preparation for the continuation of the journey. All activities, news, and project steps will be published as usual on the project page www.pny2009.com as well as in the internet panels in all languages.
Matthias Jeschke and Jürgen Graf / project leadership
Im still really jealous of your team. Good luck and keep a positive attitude about the expedition. While things may get difficult at times just think of us that work a 9-5 job and pray for the weekend so we can even just hit a trail somewhere
In the last weeks it was quit calm about the expedition Paris / New York – Transcontinental – we had not been inactive but scheduled and checked many things what was related to the proceeding of the expedition. Within the next days we will public an important announcement to the expedition progress. Feel free to inform you also in twitter http://twitter.com/pny2009
Initiative Partner15000 – In joint strength!
Initiative Partner15000 – In joint success!
Dear partners, friends, companions, supporters, everybody who met us, who had been excited and all people who get connected to the project,
The expedition "Paris / New York - Transcontinental" is aimed to surround the world by car at a CO2 neutral basis. With 400 km (248 miles) the expedition stands on the verge of reaching the Bering Strait. It was a hard fight against forces of nature, technical difficulties and the time. With the support of local people, the expedition teams fought against hurricanes and snow bounds, struggled forward mile for mile till total exhaustion. Now the historical chance, to drive over the ice of the Bering Strait in winter 2009 / 2010 and to become the first team that surrounded the world only on wheels seems within reach. If this succeeded, it would be the absolutely first drive on and drive across the strait with wheel driven vehicles.
Since the required adjournment in April 2009 we work intensively on the continuation of the expedition. We had to discover that the constant deterioration of the global economical general conditions turned into a large problem for us. Due to additional budget cuts we cannot fight anymore against the financial burden of the necessary spare part procurement, the vehicle repairs, the logistic and the continuation costs.
However we want to proceed and we are doing anything to turn the vision of the historical Bering Strait crossing on wheels into reality. But we need the support of many people. Only, if we will jointly succeed to secure the missing budget, of 750.000 EURO (1 Mio US-$), excluding tax, within this difficult time by mid of August 2009 we will be able to finalize all substantial provisions and to proceed with the expedition.
With the initiative Partner15000 we would like to adjure and invite you to support this project, no matter whether on a large or small scale. Strengthen the expedition and become a part of the project. Benefit as an investment partner from the advantages.
The initiative Partner15000 will be the third main sponsor of the expedition "Paris / New York - Transcontinental". It is a campaign powered by Extrem Events to form a worldwide limited community of 15,000 members driven by enthusiasm and benevolence to financially support the project. Not only individuals but also companies, clubs or associations can become a member.
Because we are aware that solely the people of the Partner15000 will make it possible to continue,
* We will dedicate the homepage www.pny2009.com to all supporters;
* We will designate the names on the homepage;
* We will eternalize all names of those who support the expedition with 250 EURO onwards onto three exclusive bronze boards (prior to the continuation of the expedition, two of those 3x3m sized boards will be assembled on exposed locations in Paris / France and Egvekinot / Russia for 30 years. If we do reach New York, the third board will be assembled on an exposed location as well);
* To all supporters, irrespective of the donated sum, we will offer exclusive future Business-Event-Travels (BET) to selected destinations on this globe.
* Additionally we will invite partners who invest 10,000 EURO or more to a one week Business-Event-Travel to Russia, organised by Extrem Events on our own cost.
To achieve a quick worldwide spread of this information we would be happy if you could forward this information to all of your friends and company partners. You will find this text at our Download area in six different languages – German, Russian, English, Spanish, French and Italian.
Again we would like to invite you to support the initiative Partner15000 and thank you in advance for your dedication.
It just happened, but it could have happened any other day as well: I wake up, it is 8 am. I am completely beat-up. Signs of illness. Since my arrival I have more or less worked 16-18 hours a day in the cold of the garage. I have been outside to get some fresh air 4-5 times at the most, then back inside, going to bed at 3 am and so on. I only have a little sense of time left, because it is dark again at 2 pm. Until then there's only dawn (the sun only comes out for 2-3 hours when there are no clouds in the sky. Also, I don't see daylight anyway due to the garage. As always I immediately check my mails; today almost just bad / very bad news. Then a telephone conversation with Juergen. A little improvement, because he had a good news and I had to laugh out of joy over the wheel spacers. :-)
I dress in warm clothes, go to the sink, wash my face and hair quickly with yellow water which comes from the pipes - hopefully it's only rust from the pipes. Then I go to the dining room. Luba, the cook, throws her hands up, shakes her head and starts a fierce communication about me and most likely with me. I understand that I must be looking very bad today. She means to me to sit down you do what she says). Then explanations are following about what has to be done in which case of illness, etc. I don't understand a word, I just read her signs). When she is done explaining and workig, there are two slices of bread in front of me which have some kind of 5-8 cm thick layer of salad on them. I perceived that she pressed some garlic in front of me and I have a sense of what my palate might get to taste soon. Because you do what she says, I eat the medicine.
It is as if you take a garlic clove the size of a really big poignant onion, take a bite, suck it dry and savour it. Due to the taste, slapstick, aches in my mouth and no idea how I will ever be able to finish these two gigantig pieces of bread, I have to laugh. Luba is happy. She thinks I like it. I'm bursting from inner laughter.
Cars are – except for a couple of things that need to be done as soon as the team finally arrives on December 26 – pretty much ready to go.
Started my trip home on December 15 via Anadyr, Moscow, Frankfurt. Just like the entire repair trip, it was very adventurous. There have been many hours of waiting, a broken airplane which had to be fixed quickly on the landing strip before dusk, a ride in a self-made swim-vehicle across the barely frozen bay of Anadyr, crowded airports because due to cyclones and blizzards no airplanes from Moscow were able to land for 1.5 weeks, many question marks due to delayed flights and new snowfall, a hara-kiri drive over ice, many changes of flight reservations, lost documents which were supposed to be kept by people at the airport, etc.
But one thing is always on the top rung: people in Russia are always trying to help, make, do. Very relaxed, very cooperative, very hospitable.
Will be in Germany for a couple of days to take care of those things that need to be taken care of. Then we will take off.
… goes a famous saying. By no means we claim to be angels, but everything worked perfectly – just unbelievable.
Wolfgang and Rudi from Munich and myself from Frankfurt to Moscow. Very very cooperative airport staff who helped us with all of our equipment and made exceptions.
Excellent Russian pilots who made sure that the airplane with many waiting passengers and us landed safely in Anadyr, despite very harsh winds. Thank you to Russian customs for supporting us once again exemplary with the necessary paperwork; Victor for finding us some special tickets from Tschukotavia; thanks to whoever opened this incredible weather-frame for us which made it possible to start the flight in the first place and arrive in Egvekinot with a great flight performance (yesterday there have been strong winds which made a landing in Egvekinot impossible) – kudos to the organizers and pilots of Tschukotavia for making the last flight for this year possible despite all circumstances and luggage / cargo-; Alexander and Nicolai who took care of the preparations in Egvekinot and picked us up; thanks to Wolfgang, Rudi, Jefgeny Konstantinov and Victor (the new team) for already some relaxed hours – it has just been a completely successful start and journey to Egvekinot – the city in Russia where even the winter roads end.
Thanks to Russia and Tschukotka for this greeting.
We will take care of the left over work that has to be done on the vehicles until the beginning of January, then celebrate new year’s with our friends, make some last preparations and start reporting again in the new year.
December 29, 2009-January 03, 2010: We hit the road
At best weather which is supposed to last for another three days, at temperatures around -15°C and almost still air, we left Egvekinot, the city which welcomed us so nicely in all aspects and where we found many friends.
We just had some exhausting days.
At the day of our arrival (Dec. 29, 2009) we brought the vehicles from the “cold storage area” to the garage and continued to work on the vehicles every day almost around the clock – there has only been a break for our new year’s celebration – in order to finish the last remaining repairs and the new twin-tire-system. It has been the first test for the new team – passed with flying colors.
After leaving Egvekinot and crossing the bay on its straight path (thickness of the ice about 50cm), we are now on a headland which we are trying to pass since yesterday. Our goal is to reach the second bay at about N 66 12’024” / W 178 43’578” and cross this one as well- Yesterday we drove a total of 35 km.
We almost lost the F1 as I suddenly noticed a burnt smell. I stopped, thinking that something might be laying on my floor, which gets very hot at one special spot. But that wasn’t the case. Meanwhile Jefgeny left the vehicle on the passenger side to take a picture of the beautiful landscape, when he suddenly starts screaming: Fire, fire, fire! Flames were blazing underneath the car. Quickly we recognized that one of the engine covers was burning. Due to the fact that the cover was tied, we were not able to unfasten it quickly. Hectically Jefgeny and Victor threw snow under the vehicle while I tried to cut off the burning fabric.
Together with Wolfgang and Rudi, after a few minutes we extinguished the fire and removed the fabric. Only because we were very lucky, the overlap of the flames to the engine compartment could be avoided.
There has been almost no damage at the vehicle. We continued our journey after a big gulp of Vodka against the shock, thankful for the benevolence of the “place’s spirit”.
Until late at night we fought our way through the snow-covered tundra, pulled and winched us forwards.
Currently we are at N 66 11’642” / W 178 46’473” – everything is okay. We wait until the morning in order to cross the big bay at daylight. A difficult task.
January 04, 2010: 61st short message (00:26 a.m. CET)
9 a.m. Took off after a cup of coffee and a bread. First difficult obstacle: a riverbed with lots of snow. After about one hour of shoveling successfully crossed. Are 1km away from the bay.
Wind gets stronger. First light snowfall. Met two Chukots from Konergina who are on their way to Egvekinot via Skidoo. Their sled dog sitting on the Skidoo. Nice picture.
January 04, 2010: 62nd short message (01:38 a.m. CET)
12 p.m. Reached bay and managed entrance. F1 with both axles in the water. Pulled F1-trailer difficultly trough water-flooded tracks.
F2 made new tracks without any problems.
Following progress 2x through water-flooded tracks. Are currently 1km on bay-ice. Overall bay width 12km.
January 04, 2010: 63rd short message (03:55 p.m. CET)
1.30p.m. Reached the middle of the bay.
2 p.m. Reached other bank. Exit easier than entrance. Only cracks but no water. Yippie yeah.
2.30 p.m. Raised the tire’s air pressure from 0.3/0.4 to 0.6. Are currently driving – after getting over a small headland – on ice along the shoreline. Air-line distance to Konergina about 60km. Speed about 3-10 km/h. Increasing snowfall; wind about 5 Bft.
Current position: N 66 07’785” / W 178 30’560”
January 04, 2010: 64th short message (12:55 p.m. CET)
10.30 p.m. 6km away from Konergina track bar adapter on the front of F2 broke.
Steering virtually impossible. Made emergency repairs with straps and try to continue driving slowly. Tomorrow we have to weld.
Will spend the night 1.5km from Konergina and drive into the settlement tomorrow morning. A though piece of work until now. But the team is doing fine. Everything okay.
Current position: N 65 55‘363“ / W 178 48‘886“
January 05, 2010:
We woke up on a reindeer farm which served our vehicles as a place to stay for the night. Actually it’s more a place for the last hours of those beautiful animals, because here they are processed into food. At the crack of dawn, hundreds of antlers and others testified this. We detached the trailers and drove into the village. Right away crowds of people were gathering around us, children were running around and we were welcomed heartily. People from Konergina: Very very hospitable. A welder was organized. This was an opportunity for us to fill up the tanks from the barrels that we had with us. We received and ate raw reindeer meat and celebrated the New Year with a few drinks. After fixing the track bar adapter on F2, and welded and strengthened this same spot on F1, we bought an entire reindeer and got three fishes additionally as a gift. Then we resorted to the school house, in which we were invited to stay for the night. Because meanwhile it was evening again. This was also the time to say goodbye to Alexander and Victor, the Vestichot drivers (who supplied Konergina with all necessities during the winter). Especially for us they had postponed their departure from Egvekinot to Konergina in order to drive with us. Those were three great days with new friends who even shared the very tight passenger compartment of their Vestichot to eat with us.
Tomorrow, when the first beams of light appear, we will leave for the difficult track towards Enmelem. This way we will make use of the maximum period of daylight.
We would like to thank principal Alexander Volodko, the Chief of Administration Alexander Mylnikov and the Chief of Agriculturfarm Vladimir Alexeevich.
January 05, 2010: 65th short message (11 p.m. CET)
At 8 a.m. we started with dream weather and -28°C.
Yesterday, after we bought a reindeer, cut it into smaller pieces and ate parts of it with the people in Konergina, now there are two Chukots accompanying us today. So now we have guests in our little convoy. They want to come along to Neran. There is a big reindeer meeting point.
Our current position after good progress: N 65 51‘479“ / W 178 26‘860“
January 06, 2010: 66th short message (04:27 a.m. CET)
It is 3 p.m. and the team gets on well. We did 60km in 7 hours. There is an icy wind with strong flurries at about -28°C and no snowfall. The team is doing great and everything is within the bounds.
The landscape is unbelievable!
Our huge spikes prove themselves again and again. Often we have to cross lakes and wide rivers which are frozen and as smooth as glass, so that you cannot walk on them. It would be great to get out the skates. But thanks to the spikes which are easy to mount, we pull the trailers and rank on the ice without any problems. Brilliant!
January 06, 2010: 67th short message (06:32 a.m. CET)
5 p.m. Wind speed is 8 to 9 with strong flurries.
Our current position is N 65 39‘871“ / W 177 32‘155“
January 06, 2010: 68th short message (00:30 a.m. CET)
6 p.m. Stopped. F1 broke down. Cannot continue our journey without risking further damages. Servo pump (main fan-belt for all units runs over that) is threatened to overheat. Will build windbreak so that we can try a repair at wind speed 8 to 9.
7 p.m. Windbreak is done. Main pressure line of servo pump on swaging is damaged.
11 p.m. Built a 130 bar pressure line from battery brackets, pieces of fuel hose, clamps, wire straps, sawn off pieces of the old line and a big portion of team spirit along with imagination. Engine is running again. Are getting everything back in the vehicles and will leave again in about 30 minutes.
January 06, 2010: 69th short message (01:35 p.m. CET)
0.30 a.m. Line didn't last. Team tired, but we try again. Nerve-wracking. Sh*tty material.