Ordinary Men Doing Extraordinary Things - North Pole Expedition 2012
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Wednesday, 11th April, 2012 - 5.25am
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Off now witht the Russians

4.00pm - 5th April, 2012
At the airport now waiting to board the Russian plane to Camp Barneo - 89degrees North.  Slightly bemused by the stories we are hearing about this plane.  Seeemingly, there are four windows in total - 2 for us and the huskies and 2 for the pilots!  We hear that Health and Safety hasn't arrived with the Russians yet.  It's not uncommon for the pilots to be puffing away on cigars and drinking shots of vodka during the flight!  If we're lucky, we will have seat belts.  Our guide tells us that the last time he took this flight, he sat on the cargo with huskies howling around him.  But hey hoh - there's no turning back now.  Our regular clothing, toiletries, phones and every modern accessory has now been taken from us and locked away.  We've taped up our feet to prevent chaffing and blisters - hopefully the tape will stick - mind you, our feet won't see the light of day for 10 days, so it should be fine.  Now you know the other reason for the Johnsons Baby Powder eh?  Foot Rot is not for us!  We now only have the Arctic clothing we stand in until we retrieve our sledges. 
Many unspoken thoughts going thru our minds now -
Just  how cold will it be? 
Who's doing the cooking tonight? 
Will Brian manage the build and design of the first "throne" and who will be the first to bear all to the wind and use it? 
We know we will survive the elements, but will we survive Alex's snoring?
Will Paul really use those Wet Wipes?  brrrr.......
Will Andrew continue to have that grin on his face regarding the news that he is going to be a grandad again to a grandson?
Will cool dude John finally realise what he has got himself into?
Just now fast can Nigel run when we spot the first Polar Bear?
Tonight will probably be the biggest challenge of our lives.  Setting up our tents in temps of -40 with bitter winds around us.  We all know the plan - we've just got to stick to it now.  First tent up will be Andrew's and Paul's - then they start preparing the hot food.  When their tent is up, we will concentrate on the others.  Alex is in charge of cutting the blocks of ice for the cookers for the dried food (yum yum) and the hot drinks.  The plan is to boil approximately 3 gallons of water per night - and yes, of course, Alex has bought the biggest saw he could get on the aircraft for the ice cutting.  Brian will be busy building that throne - oh the very thought of it makes us shiver.  John says that it's Imodem all the way for him!!!  John and Nigel will be busy doing the final "digging in" of the tents - making them as wind proof as possible and securing them  to the ice - tents blowing away is just not an option.  Nigel is on Polar Bear watch too - 2 shotguns and a flare gun at the ready. 
Our first check in call is due at 8.00pm tonight to the Russians -  not that our Russian is very good!  The rule is that we need to call them between 8pm and 10pm each night.  If,  for whatever reason we don't, we need to call between 8am and 10am the following morning.  If we don't do that, they send out a helicopter to find us.  And then charge us 150,000stg because we forgot to call!  We'll be making those calls - don't want that bill!
So, good night all - we'll update you tomorrow about our first night's sleep.
The Six Ordinary Men doing Extraordinary Things -
Brian, Alex, Andrew, Paul, Nigel and John

24 Comments to Off now witht the Russians:

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david baldwin on 05 April 2012 22:02
Hi Paul By now you will hopefully have survived the first night. You guys really are crazy i cant imagine the weather being that cold!! Lets just hope that those sleeping bags are as warm as you said. I will be logging on most nights to check on your progress. Good luck to you all
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Sam Martin on 05 April 2012 22:03
Joining the pilots drinking vodka and smoking cigars sound more fun than putting up the tents and building a toilet. I would be tempted to stay on the plane. Don't forget to call, stay safe x
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Olivia Fulton on 06 April 2012 09:14
I hope you having fun.If you see santa can you tell him why he didn't bring five of my presents please.Look forward to you getting home Paul love Olivia xxx.
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keithandval on 06 April 2012 10:58
Nigel on sentry duty!! Have you seen him shoot!?!?!?. Anytime you need cheering up ask john to recount his best mans speech! the funniest one weve ever heard!! take care, if possible enjoy, stick to the plan and all will be well..kvlro xxxxx
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Catherine Carr on 06 April 2012 11:10
Hi Paul, Love the photo of you sewing, where's Nicola when you need her!! We are all thinking of you, we always knew you were mad. Take care, love from all xx
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Simon Jennings on 06 April 2012 11:53
Paul and the other five lunatics!!!!,what an amazing thing you are all about to do. I have just read your posts and i am facintaed to hear how you all getting on. The lasy word i would use to describe you guys is ordinary so good luck we are all behind you on your great adventure.
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simon beale on 06 April 2012 22:49
Hi Paul ,me and sue have just seen Nicky and the girls and they were saying how well you are doing !!! you and your team are a brave bunch !! keep going !!
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Rick and Julia christo on 07 April 2012 12:43
What an adventure! Best of luck to you all,keep going Paul. You can do it.can't wait to hear all about it!ove and best wishes,rick,julia&familyx
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Michael and Paula Shipley on 07 April 2012 15:46
To Paul and the guys, hope you are all well on you way now and everything is going well. Enjoy this amazing challenge. Stay safe and enjoy the moment. Love Michael and Paula. X
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James on 07 April 2012 20:08
Hey bro, just sat with the boys and looking at your photos..... I hate to say but they want to see more of Polar bears!!! You look after yourself and your friends, will call you later and check on your progress, Joe and Ollie send there love and Joe said if you see Santa can you get a picture of him please ;-) Make sure you come home in one piece Paul....! Love James, Danielle, Joe & Ollie x x x x
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