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Celebrating the Success of Our North Pole Expedition by Ella Derbyshire

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About This Gigapan

Taken by
Ella Derbyshire Ella Derbyshire
Explore score
0.12 Gigapixels
Date added
Aug 13, 2008
Date taken
Jul 24, 2008

Nikon D80's


Here we are very near to the North Pole, having a party on the drifting ice . The passengers and crew were in a festive mood despite our awakening for the arrival at the Pole in the middle of last night. The sky was clear with a brilliant sun warming us as we ventured off the ship. You might see some people dressed in lighter-weight garb than you would expect so close to the top of the world.

We had our picnic on the port side ice. A ship this large creates a very big blind spot. The starboard side was off limits today as our guards set their perimeter and watched the horizon for large, hungry carnivores. If they spotted one, the planwas to herd us back up the gangway.

You can see other activities besides our BBQ-on-ice. Participants in an activity called the Polar Plunge dove into the water at the stern of the ship for a brief swim. The salt water was a few degrees colder than the 0 degrees Celsius temperature that freezes fresh water.

Other folks made snow angles and snow balls. With the air temperature at 0 degrees Celsius, the snowballs packed rather well. We took photographs of people "pulling the ship" with the line that you see tied at the bow. Folks sat or stood on the anchor for more photographs. The fun of playing in the snow and the grand scale of the ship and its anchor made some of us feel like kids again.

As the party wound down, the helicopter took us up for flights around the ship.

Can you find the 3rd quarter moon? It is one week away from a total solar eclipse on August 1. When we get back on board, we will be breaking ice toward the path of totality.

With no land details to geocode this panorama, I have tried to use the time of day with the positions of the sun and the moon to orient the panorama in Google Earth. I think that it worked out well. With the drifting of the ice pack, our picnic spot had already move by about a kimometer before the picnic was over.

This panorama was photographed with a Nikon D80 and stitched with Autopano Pro.

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