I admit that when I read that Prince Harry was joining the Walking with the Wounded expedition to the North Pole I was worried. Not for Harry nor for the vets whose efforts will raise money for a British charity that assists injured servicemen and servicewomen. I was worried that he wouldn’t make it to the church on time.
Needless worry on my part. The plan is for Harry to participate in the first week of the month long expedition. Then return to his duties as a soldier and a prince. One of those princely duties is patron of the Walking with the Wounded charity. Harry is putting more than his name on the line for the organization.
I’ve seen Arctic Ocean ice. I know that it won’t be smooth hauling for the four vets who will complete the mission. Pressure ridges must be climbed. Leads must be crossed. Bitterly cold temperatures must be survived. The expedition occurs in April, so the members won’t have 24 hours of sunlight to assist them.
Remembrance of our veterans – in any country currently at war – should not be limited to November 11 ceremonies. Say thank you to the vets you know. Support the charities of your choice. Make an informed decision when you vote so that our armed forces personnel are properly equipped and cared for when they are injured. It is the least we can do for those who have volunteered for the front lines.
50 Years of Victory in the Arctic Ocean
By now you know that I adore the nuclear-powered icebreaker 50 Years of Victory. I sailed on her in 2008. Two years later and I am still wishing I was back aboard.
Victory was built to shepherd merchant marine convoys through the Northeast Passage – Russia‘s sea route from Europe to Asia. Just like Canada, the Russian‘s are dealing with the possibility of a permanently ice free passage. This year, they escorted a tanker through the Passage. Victory was one of the escort vessels. Her sister ship, Rossiya, however, takes the brunt of the escort work.
Quark is sailing the Northeast Passage in 2011. 50 Years of Victory won’t be the expedition vessel, rather the polar adventure firm is sending Kapitan Khlebnikov. I adore Victory, but the KK will always be the first ship I fell in love with. And there is always a special place in one’s heart for a first love.
50 Years of Victory, departing from the Arctic Ocean
I have sailed on the world’s largest nuclear powered icebreaker, 50 Years of Victory. One question I’m often asked is she really a working icebreaker? If you don’t believe my resounding yes, then take a look at this story in Tanker News.
I took the photo from Victory’s fly bridge. She had just been pulled from her moorings by tug boats, and was now under her own steam. That was about midnight at the end of June 2008. The light on the horizon was the midnight sun reflecting off the Arctic Ocean.
Quark will operate another North Pole expedition in 2011. The dates and rates haven’t been announced by the company has a waiting list started. And it isn’t empty!