Two days later we are loading a small Twin Otter plane with almost 400 kg of equipment. Every single piece of which we will be hauling on our sleds once we get there. The flight takes almost 5 hours. After 3 hours we have to land at Eureka, the northernmost civil weather station in the world, permanently staffed with 9 people. Then 2 more hours due north. We still don´t know where to land. We agreed with the pilot, a veteran of 30 years and 20.000 flight hours, that we will decide on where to land while we are in the air. He has never flown out to the north shore of Ellesmere either, so we will have to figure out the possibilities once we get there. We are flying down a huge fjord, 10 kilometres wide and more than 80 kilometres long, frozen over with icebergs everywhere below us. The pilot is trying to land the plane among the icebergs on the snow covered sea of ice. My heart is thumping… If something goes wrong, there is no help within thousands of kilometres.
Three hours later Qujju, the dog, is no longer wild and restless, just active and efficient. He likes to pull and run, but as soon as we stop he lies down, covers his nose in his thick fur and the wind starts slowly covering him up with snow. We are heading north very slowly. The snow is deep, up to 70 cm on the sea ice, which slows our progress. I decide to take out the kite and pull some luggage with it, which works out great for about 2km. Then the wind stops and the kite falls down. We decide to make camp. The -25 Celsius is tolerable when there is no wind. While I pack the kite the others start putting up the tent. In a second the storm comes back. All of a sudden, the tent flies up in the air. I run after it but I have no chance to catch it. The others rally and try to catch it on their skis. Meanwhile, I try to get the kite back out. Fortunately after 800 meters the tent stops. If we would have lost it, we would have had serious problems. Surviving out here without a tent is tough. It takes us several hours to build our camp and secure it.
Meanwhile Qujju is completely covered with snow, sleeping at -25 degres Celsius and 60 km/h wind.
Nature is awesome.