Polar Explorer Eric Larsen
Day 43. The Zen of Polar Travel
partly sunny, windy -22C
15 April 2010 | Arctic Ocean
While the wind abated substantially today, it was still brisk. Once again, we spent our short 10 minutes breaks huddled behind snow drifts and ice chunks. However, we did not have to face life or death battles with the spindrift. For most of the day, we struggled through drift after drift after drift. Serpentine. Up, down, around, over, our course was anything but straight.

83 miles to the pole. We are dangerously close, but still far enough away for a million different things to happen. Most of them bad. Physically, we feel good despite the strain of 43 hard days on the trail. Mentally, right now is all about managing expectations.

'I was doing all sorts of calculations in my head while I skied,' Darcy said. 'Trying to determine our potential mileage and when we'll arrive at the pole.'

I've heard of rock climbers, who during long difficult routes, achieve a zen-like state of calm even though their lives are in great danger. While the imminent threat of death isn't quite as high here (some might argue otherwise), we face our greatest challenge from the lengthy duration and increasing difficulty of our jouney. It is natural to have hope for better conditions and strive for the end. Home, friends, family, warmth and chairs are so close we can almost touch them... But we can't yet.

For me, this is the part of a long expedition where everything and everyone else just fades away. Finishing is a result of a plan we enacted six weeks ago. It will happen when we get there. No sooner or later. Now, each day is what it is. I am here so I like it all that more because I am here. To expect anything else but what I get is unrealistic

The ice worsened in the afternoon into a fractured expanse for as far as we could see. This was newer pressure and thick (four feet) blue blocks were heaved in random directions. Darcy's lead shift was through the worst of it. At one point, we were strung out over 400 meters - each of us locked deep in our own battles of sled, ice and gravity.

With Earth Day approaching, many people often ask what they can do to help protect our environment and reduce their own impact. 'Begin with one step,' I always answer. On Savethepoles.com you'll find a whole range of options from buying carbon offsets to getting a home energy audit to simply changing a light bulb. We can also make environmentally friendly purchases. For paper and cleaning products, check out Seventh Generation.

Once again in case you missed it the first time, Bing is helping students become aware of their environment through an Earth Day Photo Contest. If you know of teachers and students that are interested in photography and want to take part in a great cause, have them enter at www.earthdayphotocontest.com."

Image: Eric on the Iridium satellite phone coordinating our North Pole pick up with the Russian ice base, Borneo.

The Save the Poles expedition is sponsored by Bing with major support from the University of Plymouth, Terramar, Seventh Generation, Goal0, Atlas, Sierra Designs and Optic Nerve.

Remember, it's cool to be cold. Save the Poles. Save the planet.

For more information, please visit www.ericlarsenexplore.com

For information about guided Antarctic expeditions, please visit http://www.antarctic-logistics.com/

For media inquiries, please contact lora@screamagency.com

For technical inquires, please contact webexpeditions.net
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