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5 September, 2001

September 5, 2001

To Top It All Off

As we have traveled onward over the past few days, the Healy and Polarstern have been blessed with wonderful weather and ice conditions. We have progressed more quickly than predicted and have found ourselves closer to the North Pole than anticipated. Our current location of 89* N latitude finds us about 60 miles from this infamous spot. This led to the decision to continue traveling to the top of the world! Our estimated arrival at the North Pole is around noon tomorrow.

Preparations are being made to spend several hours at this rarely visited, remote location. It will mark the first time in history that a US icebreaker has broken through the ice to the North Pole unassisted. The Polarstern will follow in our lead, and upon their arrival we will commemorate this historic undertaking with an ice liberty celebration.

<> A view off of the bow-- the scenery looks like a blank canvas as we approach the North Pole.

<> Look closely and you will see a rainbow. This rainbow is a sign of the good weather that has helped us travel faster than expected. Next stop-- the North Pole!

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