This was not a manufactured adventure . No one knew what the end result would be. It could have been something or nothing. In the end we shot over 100 hrs of film but with only an hour to fill much has been left out.   Jock Wishart

This week I watched a great documentary on the BBC featuring a friend of mine, Jock Wishart and his team attempting to row to the Magnetic North Pole. This journey has really only become possible in the last few years as global warming has meant that the ice now melts almost entirely at the Pole in the summer months.  Having been to the North Pole in 1996 on an expedition that Jock organised, I could appreciate just what an amazing challenge they were attempting.  For those who missed the programme it is available on BBC iplayer for the next two weeks.     Having watched their success, and them flying back to base in a small Twin Otter, I had a few unanswered questions, particularly about what happened to the boat. Jock was kind enough to let us know the answers…..

Was there a plan B if the boat was crushed?

JOCK – Answer was that no one was very sure how they would have got us out. Relaying a helicopter to us being the only one feasible but that would have taken some time. In the end we were prepared and had the equipment to “walk out” which would have been possible as long as we had not been stuck on an ice floe.  In the end we actually did this in any case as when it came to a “pick up” after we got to the Pole we had to walk 20 miles (which we covered several times removing valuable equipment) to find a place the plane could land.Never again!!

What happened to the boat?

JOCK – The sea was freezing around us (the temp was dropping fast day by day) so it would have not been possible to row back. We found a secure place to leave the boat where we hope she should stand up to the winter and the provisional plan is to recover her by sledge and skidoo maybe in April 2013.

You can read the full story in the book Furthest North by Rod MacRae