Visit of Mike O’Shea, North Pole Explorer

June 22, 2012

Mike O’ Shea visited our school on Friday 22nd June because Max Wycjynske won a colouring competition in the Irish North Pole Art Competition. His prize was that Mike would come to the school and tell us about his trip to the North Pole. Max also got a lovely tee shirt  and scarf with the logo of the North Pole Expedition logo on it.

Max is presented with his prize by Mike O'Shea the North Pole explorer

Mike O’Shea told us about his trip illustrated with a powerpoint presentation with photos and video clips . On the 5th of February 2012 the Irish North Pole 2012 team of Mike O Shea & Dr. Clare O Leary flew from Ireland to Iquluit in Northern Canada which was their base for three weeks. Here they trained in the frigid -40 degree centigrade temperatures and ensured that all the equipment was working correctly. Here they packed all their food that they would require for the 50 day expedition to the North Pole. The team spend a great deal of time training in Iquluit with the famed Arctic explorer Matty McNair , who is also acting as Canadian Base Camp for Mike & Clare when they are on the ice.

On the 25th of February the Irish North Pole team flew from Iquluit to Resolute in Northern Canada where they began waiting for the weather window to allow them on to the ice.

Mike O'Shea on his trip to the North Pole

On Friday the 2nd of March the team got their flight from Resolute to Cape Discovery to start their expedition.They made consistent, if slow, progress hampered by temperatures down to -55 degrees centigrade. Mike told us about the importance of being covered at all times, as exposure in these temperatures would mean frost bite. He show some fascinating photos with ice on his eyelashes.

Mike O'Shea walking on the ice

They had to drag their sleight with their luggage which weighted ninety kg.  They  lightened their luggage by getting rid of all the wrappings- which lightened their load by sixteen kg.Their meals were prepacked in bite sizes so that they were readily accessible and easy to eat as everything was frozen.

Preparing the food for the journey

The Irish North Pole Team had to return to their start point following a difficult decision to abandon their attempt. The team’s plan to share charter logistics with other teams fell  apart – leaving them to potentially face a bill of between 120k &180k euros to fund their resupplies and pickup should they continue.

Mike O'Shea walking on the ice

The team were safe and after 10 days on the Arctic ocean. The first two weeks of a North Pole trip is regarded as extremely challenging because of the unrelenting cold and difficult pack ice terrain.

The landscape of the North

They were disappointed that they did not reach their goal but they hope to try again next year. They were lucky that they both survived the trip with no injuries. We look forward to hearing more about these trips on the blog

Enjoying Mike O'Shea's talk on his trip to the North PoleMike O'Shea with pupils in St Joseph's Primary School

Entry Filed under: 1st Class Ms Crowley 2011-12,3rd & 4th Ms Fitzpatrick 2011-12,4th & 5th Mrs O'Callaghan 2011-12,5th & 6th Mrs Creedon 2011-12,Jun & Sen Inf Ms Cronin 2011-12,Junior Infants Ms Twomey 2011-12,Junior Infants Sr Mary 2011-12,Ms O'Regan 1st & 2nd 2011-12,Science,Sen Inf Ms Mangan 2011-12,Sport,Weather. .

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