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Pulling For The Pole

Jock Wishart, the veteran polar and maritime adventurer and explorer, is close to achieving a remarkable voyage which will see his boat, Old Pulteney, reach the 1996 certified position of the Magnetic North Pole. It's the focus of an epic 450 miles voyage through the Arctic Ocean in waters that have not previously been navigated by any small surface vessel - www.rowtothepole.com. During the next couple of days, Jock and his team will be making the final push through the treacherous ice-infested waters from theircurrent position to the south; the exact timing depends on the ice conditions and weather. Yesterday, the crew was on the south side of Thor Island  - just over 50 miles from the ’96 Magnetic North Pole. They planned to stay in position until high easterly winds eased, clearing the waters they will navigate on their route North. The final push may require a long continuous row – including night rowing – to negotiate the icebergs and other floating sea ice obstacles in the open water. On reaching the Pole position, the crew will secure the boat and head for a landing strip on the nearby island of Ellef Ringnes for an extraction flight. Jock Wishart and his crew of 5 other oarsmen, will be making history as:
  • No polar expedition has previously rowed to any pole position.
  • The voyage is the first time any expedition has sought to row in the Arctic.
  • No expedition has rowed in Arctic waters since Sir Ernest Shackleton rescued his crew from disaster in 1916.
  • The expedition is setting a new ocean rowing challenge – to sit alongside those for rowing the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans.
Jock has been working on the project for the last four years, planning the route and watching the changing state of the ice as global warming reveals more open water. He has commissioned and delivered a unique ‘ice boat’ to achieve this world first.

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