The Chinese waved their flags and pennants on the deck of the ship. Moments later, the ship’s siren sounded. It was also reported that the ship had arrived at the magic point 90’00’000 ‘NORTH. I reached the reading of my mobile 89099’9925 in the standing position. (90 m NORTH A meter away) I could not reach the BOW POINT due to the Chinese push. Almost everyone from BOW POINT received 90 ‘N readings on their devices. A few moments later I also got a 90 ‘N on the left side of the deck. Champagne party and festivities began on the ship’s BOW DECK.
The captain moved the ship a little to the side. To ensure that the surrounding ice sheets were safe for us to navigate, the crew first inspected the ship from the top, then by helicopter, and then from the bottom. Finally, 2 anchors of the ship, each weighing 7 tons, were lowered. They both penetrated a little into the ice. (From this it is clear that the ice sheets are strong and safe.)
The ship’s crew began to descend. First of all, “RUSSIAN POLAR GUARDS” went down and stood in 4 areas of a very wide area. Each had 3 guns in different ranges. Their job is to deal with polar bears when they appear and to protect us. Other ship’s crew began work on “BARBECUE” facilities below, as well as “swimming” facilities on the icy water behind the ship. An hour later we were allowed to reach the bottom. From the very beginning, the Captain asked us to join hands in a circle around the “NORTH POLE” plaque and observe a minute of silence for the peace and tranquility of the world, and he joined in. Then we put a circle around the “NORTH POLE” template. “It’s the shortest distance and the easiest way to get around the world.” – (Magellan wasted no time !!!) Adventure enthusiasts were notified to come to the back of the ship. “POLAR PLUNGE” Opportunity to swim in minus 3 degree water. Out of a total of 120, 23 were ready.
I was the third. When I changed my dress, I felt cold and windy. When asked about the Russian vodka that was to be given to the jumper, they said, “Jump and come. The ship’s crew first attached the SAFETY Belt to our waist.” Dived straight out of the ice into the water. I was submerged from the water as in the middle of the ship. Below is the Arctic Ocean at a depth of 4200 meters, but it was quickly realized that a 2 minute of swimming in that cold water was enough to get anything so low as to die. Began to swim back. Unable to see due to cold water. I swam with an approximate goal to the photographer on the ship who was taking our photo. From there i swam again and climbed to the top. The ship’s crew, who had tied my belt, picked me up. When he said ‘WELL DONE’, I realized that I was not dead, I was on the ground. I put on my shoes and jacket and ran straight to the ship. Of the 23, only 3 of us swam and the rest just jumped into the water and climbed back up.
Downstairs everyone was busy taking photos around NORTH POLE. The Chinese began to annoy with their flags and celebrations. (I was relieved to know that if there were two Malayalees, we would have shown beyond this). At last our proud tricolor flag was hoisted from the top of the earth. “The world is under our feet”. Standing above the Arctic Ocean at a depth of more than 4200 meters. Wherever we look, it is only to the south. And indescribable joy in the mind, but also having the sadness that our daughter is not with us. Since there is no coming here again in life, we walked around the earth one more time. (I can say that I have traveled the earth twice.)
Dinner was ready under the ship. A variety of dishes cooked in a tandoori oven placed on top of the ice. Passengers enjoyed dance and food accompanied by Russian songs. The first man to reach 90 ‘NORTH was one of Frederick Cook in April 1908 and Robert Pierre in April 1909. (Disputes still exist). The first ship to reach North Pole was in 1971. It was the “ARCTIKA”, the old Soviet nuclear icebreaker. Our trip to North Pole on July 20, 2017 was officially recorded as the 128th. More than 11,000 people have come here so far.
When you read this, you may feel that this ship and voyage is something big. However, the Japanese “Shinji Kasama” arrived on a motorcycle in 1987 at NORTH POLE and in 1992 at SOUTH POLE. And MOUNT FUJI, KILIMANJARO, the biggest mountain in Africa, our EVEREST all these places he has already gone on a motorcycle. (Dedicated to those who go by bike from Kollam to Kottayam and post on FACEBOOK.) Two other Indians over the age of 60 were on the trip. They were from Odisha and Delhi. Both were people who traveled all over the world. One of them was a yoga master. In the middle of the voyage, he was looking for people who would like to do yoga on the ship at North Pole. Two Taiwanese and two Japanese agreed. But the master who jumped into the sea in “POLAR PLUNGE” was found just before breakfast the next day. The master only remembers jumping into the water. But the Odisha man was the opposite. The man who put on his ‘shorts’ and shoes for the dinner party held on the open deck above the ship in minus 2 degree cold and wind was amazing to everyone. (I have given the photo)
The tour leader’s announcement came at 9pm. An hour later the ship will begin its return voyage. So after 45 minutes everyone was told to get back on board. Due to the strong winds and snow, almost everyone had returned to the ship. It was announced that its return journey would begin at 10 p.m. And another piece of information that surprised us. The current position of the ship is 890 89 ‘N. That is, the current position of the ship is 3.4 km south of where we stopped. I PHONE’s battery died due to severe cold. I ran upstairs to see the ship’s GPS reading. Didn’t have to go there There were a lot of people outside with GPS machines. The captain explained. This is due to the movement of MOVEMENT / DRIFTING in the Arctic. The ship, which weighed 25,000 tons, was pushed through the ice and carried 3.5 miles away. It was an unbelievable experience.
The ship went backwards the way it came. To travel at speed, the ship chose the same route as the iceberg. But due to ICE DRIFTING, the direction had to be changed in many places. The next day at noon we got the notification of the polar bear again. This time it was the mother and 2 babies who were just 4 months old. Both babies lie comfortably next to their mother. Mom moves away and waits impatiently for the ‘seal’ at the bottom of the ice to come up. It has no emotion when it sees us. Looking forward to the BREATHING HOLE. The seal at the bottom of the sea is come up by open the ice blocks to breathe. These holes are the “BREATHING HOLE”, the mom bear stands slightly apart.
Passengers were asked to take pictures of the babies and take a closer look at them. But the captain lovingly rejected it. Because this is the habitat of the polar bear. We were the ones who got dragged there. We should never go beyond other limits. Sometimes it would be waiting for that seal for a day for food to be given to her babies. As the ship moves forward, the ice sheets break and they may sometimes lose their prey or have to leave due to lack of ice. What the captain said seemed very important. More than 15 polar bears were spotted throughout the trip.
Following the ship’s onward voyage. The next destination is Russia’s climate exploration island. During the voyage, the ship approached the island, which was surrounded by huge icebergs. Ice blocks are at least 5 times taller than a ship. The captain approached the ship as if the ice had not touched it. After that we had the opportunity to see the whole island by helicopter. The next evening we arrived on the island of Russian weather exploration. We reached the shore using rubber boats called ZODIAC and spent some time on the island. Rare ‘ARCTIC FOX’ can be seen here. The poor man, who had become skin and bones due to lack of food, ran away as soon as he saw us. Here we got to see whales and two types of sea seals. Returning from there at night we started our journey towards ‘MURMANSK’.
The night had special Russian dinner and art events. The next day I had the opportunity to visit and talk to the captain in person. Captain ‘DIMITRI LUBASOV’ is a very gentle and moderate person. He began his career aboard the Nuclear Ice Breaker. Has now completed 30 years of service. The position of captain of this ship is one of the most important and important positions in Russia. He was the one who started the service to the ship’s first North Pole. He told us that Russia is in the process of building three icebreakers with double the power, the first of which will be launched in June last year and will be ready for departure in June 2019. He also showed us a picture of the ship. We parted after drinking tea with him.
The next morning we arrived at MURMANSK port. Unlike coming here, the buses that were bring to us from here came and stopped right next to the outer door of the ship. From the ship straight to the bus, when the bus reached the check post, the officers got inside the bus and counted everyone and left. Bus to ‘MURMANSK’ AIRPORT. From there we went straight to Moscow. We stayed there for two days and one night. We visited the Kremlin and Red Square, and the next night we headed back to Dubai.
Traveller – Sajith Kumar | Time June 14, 2017