When we went to North Pole 90°N in 2009, I was told that we would be spending almost 24 hours at the extreme northern point of earth’s axis. Obviously, there would be no shelter. To the contrary, it would be a trip full of hassles, especially if we encountered heavy rain or snow. I wondered if I’d get totally bored of spending a full day there, with nothing to do.
Once we reached, it all proved to be interesting.
If one has to travel around the world, one could do it near the equator or the Tropic of Capricorn or Cancer or any latitude. Which basically means you have to go around the axis of the earth. 90°N is also a point on the axis of the earth. At this point of North Pole, it would take the shortest time to travel round the world.
Keeping this concept in mind, a beautiful event was arranged, “going round the World in 60 seconds”. A flag pole painted ‘North Pole’ in red and white was fixed on the sheet of ice on the land’s surface at 90°N. All the guests and crew formed a circle around the pole. The circle was about 200 feet in diameter.
Then, every one sang and danced while going around in a circle. About 105 guests from 24 nationalities. While moving in the circle, we were waving the Indian national flag, which we had carried with us. We were one of the very few who carried our national flag with us, as can be seen from the picture.
It was symbolic of going around the globe. At North Pole, going round the point of North Pole 90° North, is same as going round the world from any other degree of latitude. This could be done in shortest time, even less than 60 seconds!
We felt pride as we went around the world waving our national flag. The captain prayed for universal harmony and suggested that we all accept the challenge to spread world peace. The event was appropriately named ‘around the world in 60 seconds”
Another thrilling event was the Polar Plunge, which I have written about.
Also, for the first time in my life, I had barbeque, wine and dine on a large sheet of Ice. No structures around for handreds of kilometers/ On the ice, chairs and dining tables were laid, the barbeque was cooked and served hot. We spent the entire day at the North Pole leisurely. I didn’t want to leave the place when we were told that it was time for us to sail back.
Amazing and absorbing events at oddest of odd places in the world.
It made me realise, wherever and in whatever condition one might be, with proper imagination and planning, one could still wholesomely enjoy life.
Experienced and Written By: Badri Baldawa
Edited By : Meeta Kabra