March 9, 2005

Japanese who stayed here in the past

At 9:15 in the morning I received a phone call from the expedition team. At present they are at 83 degrees 05 minutes North and 72 degrees 57 minutes West. The temperature is -31°C and the barometer is 1025 hP. It's cloudy but no wind. Yesterday as well they only moved 8km.

When working in the garage, I often come across to things that used to belong to the expedition team based here before. As for remnants of Japanese teams, I found some things left by a 6-person support team of Mr. Hyoichi Kohno (the first Japanese to solo trek to North Pole) who attempted to walk from North Pole to his home in Seto-cho, Ehime prefecture, Japan (this project was called Reaching Home).

However, in the course of the journey around 700km from North Pole Mr. Kohno went missing. Seven days later he was found under the icy water of -10°C. 3 more days he should have reached Ward Hunt Island.

Mr. Kohno was very conscious about handling the waste he produced. His support team flew an aircraft to collect the accumulated garbage. The amount of risk, burden, and cost are enormous.

There is a possibility that things with human odor or human food if left on the sea ice will have an impact on the ecosystem of the region. To have a budget for garbage collection is more difficult than many people think. I think Kohno's team took this action out of reverence for the animals and the natural environment. As for our expedition team, they will bring back their own garbage on sleds.

Mr. Kohno used to belong to Adventure Cyclist Club, which is an organization for cyclists mainly traveling abroad. I am also a member of the club, so I knew about him.

Mr. Shinji Kazama, the first person in the world to reach North Pole by motorcycle in 1987 (he also made it to South Pole in 1992 and became the first person in the world to reach both poles by motorcycle), and Ms. Masako Izumi, a Japanese actress, the first Japanese woman to reach North Pole, also stayed in Resolute Bay.

Frozen Arctic Ocean seen from the above.
Its whiteness and broadness are just awesome.

Joichi Kobayashi    

February 2005
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March 2005
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April 2005
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May 2005
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June 2005
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