I’m planning to backpack for my birthday this year so I’m practicing backpacking while Steve runs. My pack and boots are holding up well. Steve bought a new backpack for himself and on Thursday we will get him some boots and the few items we still need for a comfortable night in the woods. The one big problem is that the biting insects are out in force.
The second problem is how to continue to write in public and write my novels as I backpack. I will figure this out. We just need to be sure to hike where I can update via iPhone or iPad.
Today I worked on the primary novel outline and on my Arctic short fiction. I have a tighter arc for Rueben now and a somewhat improved story for Tzipporah.
While doing research to figure out the seasons for Arctic exploration I came across information on the Fram Expedition, a fascinating story of scientific creativity bent to Arctic exploration.
The Norwegian explorer Fridtjof Nansen upon learning how ice packs drift in the Arctic Ocean decided that this would be the best method of traveling to the North Pole. He created a ship that would survive being encased in ice and would ride the ice to the farthest point north possible. The design of the ship had to be different than any previous ship to allow it to “slip like an eel out of the embraces of the ice.”
The design, a three-masted schooner with stubby, fat shape and an auxiliary engine, was meant to provide an unbreakable hull and a cozy home for the crew who would be there for about five years. Five years trapped in the ice, drifting toward the North Pole. It sounds crazy, doesn’t it? Certainly that’s what his critics thought. Adolphus Greely called it “an illogical scheme of self-destruction.” In a previous disastrous Arctic mission a decade before, Greely himself lost 20 out of his crew of 25 trying to set up an observation station in the far north.
Greely and other European explorers of the Arctic relied solely upon European methods of navigating the icy north, invading in force with large numbers of men and ships. This strategy merely increased the number of lost ships in the hostile conditions. By contrast, Nansen had a small, trained crew. He made use of native expertise from Inuit and Sami people, including their boat=building expertise. And, Nansen had prior experience in Greenland exploration and other northerly expeditions which allowed him to innovate from a solid base of knowledge.
The ship survived the ice and the crew made important contributions to the study of oceanography in the 18 months they were stuck in an ice pack. According to the Wikipedia page, “the methods of travel and survival Nansen developed with Johansen influenced all the polar expeditions, north and south.” There is a lot more information in Wikipedia and it is fascinating!
Writing in Public blog streak… Day 9
— Short Fiction: 179 new words.
— Novel-Length fiction: 00 new words.
— Blog Posts: 517 new words.
— Editorial Work: 00 words.
— Year of Short Fiction Goal: 3 short stories finished and sent out by year end.
— Novel Goal: 1 complete novel by year end.
Healthful Eating Streak: Day 6