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25 May

Posted on May 25, 2011 by Captain P. Fawcett

Excerpt from 10 April:

On behalf of Captain Peabody Fawcett: I have just received news from The Geographical Society that Fawcett’s expeditionary team is stranded approximately 78 degrees north off the coast of Norway. The unseasonably warm weather has resulted in an early melt and has left them marooned on ice floes. Victims of the fierce gulf stream they are drifting at the behest of the current.

The last message received delivered by carrier pigeon, assured,

“All well and in good spirits despite having run out of reading material. Men maintaining stiff upper lip with aid of liberal dollops of my trademarked moustache wax, although one member of team appears quite delirious blithering on about getting back to Blighty for a wedding or some such nonsense! God help us all. C.F."

Miss Allie Astell, Expedition Organiser, Camberwell.

21 May

Posted on May 21, 2011 by Captain P. Fawcett

Excerpt from 10 April:

‘Each holds his face bowed toward the ice, each of them testifies to the cold with his chattering mouth, to his heart's grief with tears that flood forever from his eyes.’   Dante

20 May

Posted on May 20, 2011 by Captain P. Fawcett

Excerpt from 10 April:

We are stranded. We can not go on. C.F.

19 May

Posted on May 19, 2011 by Captain P. Fawcett

Excerpt from 9 April:

My fingers are turning black, the victim of severe frostbite. The bright sun low on the horizon causes an incessant headache that saps my resolve to carry on. All around us the ice is melting, resulting on occasion in the dogs slipping and sliding into the once frozen Polar sea. They panic, dragging the sledges which carry the meager remains of our food, shelter and moustache wax with them.

By Jupiter I am yet to be beaten. C.F.

18 May

Posted on May 18, 2011 by Captain P. Fawcett

Excerpt from 9 April:

Many before us have searched for the South East passage, the Arctic seaway that leads to the fabled Orient. None have succeeded. It would appear our ill fated attempt is likewise doomed to fail. With a heavy heart and by now poorly nourished, to a man we trudge on. C.F.

17 May

Posted on May 17, 2011 by Captain P. Fawcett

Excerpt from 9 April:

The Soviet authorities have at last allowed us to proceed on our quest. However, due to the interminable delay caused by Ivan getting his blessed balaclava in a twist, the expedition is in severe jeopardy. The sun has arrived and with it the spring thaw. Y gads! C.F.

12 May

Posted on May 12, 2011 by Captain P. Fawcett

Excerpt from 8 April:

Disaster has struck! We have seemingly sparked of an international incident by unwittingly straying across an invisible border and illegally invading Russia. We have been apprehended by unpleasant belligerent, Bolshevik border guards who have interrogated us all at great length.

Russia is claiming that its sovereign territory has been violated and they have registered a formal complaint with both the Norwegian authorities in Oslo and the British Foreign Office. What balderdash.

Our whole expedition has been halted whilst this ongoing investigation takes place. Determined to maintain a stiff upper lip in the face of extreme adversity, I resort to applying a ration of the ‘Gentleman’s Stiffener’. Blowed if I will allow johnny foreigner to see me drooping and somewhat down in the mouth. What? C.F.

11 May

Posted on May 11, 2011 by Captain P. Fawcett

Excerpt from 8 April:

Hurrah, supplies have arrived! They contain chocolate, fresh fruit and letters from loved ones. Team is in fine fettle although with two dogs lame we are disadvantaged. I receive notice from Miss Allie Astell, the Expedition Organiser, that Sullivan's - my preferred tobacconist - have closed their shop in Burlington Arcade. O lackaday. With icicles hanging from my moustache we venture on. C.F.

10 May

Posted on May 10, 2011 by Captain P. Fawcett

Excerpt from 7 April:

That evening hunkered down in our shared laavu, we feast on raw reindeer heart that has been warmed in our tepid coffee. We slurp raw eggs and drink frozen vodka. Outside blows a blizzard that was spawned in Cocytus. We talk of our beloved and look at faded photographs of those left at home. C.F.

9 May

Posted on May 09, 2011 by Captain P. Fawcett

Excerpt from 7 April:

Mile after mile after mile of permafrost tundra. It is bitterly cold. Watching the hounds that pull me yet ever further from civilisation I am reminded of the old adage that ‘Life is like a dog sled team, If you ain’t the lead dog the scenery never changes’. C.F.

8 May

Posted on May 08, 2011 by Captain P. Fawcett

Excerpt from 7 April:

Crossing the frozen lakes in the far North of Finland, fast and furious fly the chosen few. C.F.

5 May

Posted on May 05, 2011 by Captain P. Fawcett

Excerpt from 6 April:

After a robust breakfast of salted cod and boiled eggs we meet Frodo and Lars Petter, our Sami guides. They will travel with us, equipping the endeavour with our dog teams and sleds. Six dogs per man although the somewhat tubby Blinky requires eight. Baldur, Loki, Odin, Tor, Wotan and Freya have my watch, lithe, strong, Siberian huskies that I will come to know and love and who will, without complaint literally pull me through thick and thin.

We are setting off days later than I would have hoped. There is no room for further delay. To misquote the Bard, ‘cry havoc and let slip the dogs of quest'. We are in hot pursuit of Fridtjof Nansen, the famed Norwegian explorer who intends to scupper our resolve to be the first to locate and navigate a way through the South East passage.

Applying a liberal dollop of my patent pomade as a means to maintaining a stiff upper lip regardless. I holler ‘forward', at last we're off, into the unknown.

God Speed and may the best man win. What.

C.F.

3 May

Posted on May 03, 2011 by Captain P. Fawcett

Excerpt from 5 April:

Tromso has earned the epithet ‘Paris of the North’. This is due to the number of high class emporiums that have been opened here by well known French couturiers, who supply the latest fashions to the wives and daughters of the locale, their families having grown hugely wealthy on the profits of whaling.

The Nordic princesses looking so beautiful in their delightful frocks are somewhat reminiscent of dear Miss Caldwell, whom I had last seen taking tea at Fortnum’s on that spring afternoon. I allowed myself a pleasant sigh. It all seemed so long ago... ahh what might have been.

Must press on. C.F.

2 May

Posted on May 02, 2011 by Captain P. Fawcett

Excerpt from 5 April:

On board a leaky old steamer that rumbles, rolls and reeks of rotten fish. It’s taken us four days to reach Tromso, a small town known as the gateway to the Arctic and the expeditions start point. A last chance for a bath and a fairly decent night's sleep before tomorrow’s early start. Time and tide, what? C.F.

28 April

Posted on April 28, 2011 by Captain P. Fawcett

Excerpt from 2 April:

In Norway we meet yet more members of our erstwhile mission, a diverse group of colourful characters that include amongst their ranks, a coffee planter, an amateur scientist with an interest in magnetism, an industrialist from Cape Town, an Italian playboy, the expedition's Welsh surgeon and the company's cook who incidentally is the only female team member.

Miss Bridges hails from Moscow and was until recently personal chef to the now deposed Czar. Not to forget dear Blinky. Together we are a formidable force. One that collectively intends to secure a route through the fabled South East passage.

For God and King. C.F.

 
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