“We are presently involved in a geological survey for Natural Resources Canada and Canadian Hydrographic Service, a part of Fisheries and Oceans,” Loveless wrote in an email to The Southern Gazette this month.
Loveless is second engineer on the Terry Fox, which is travelling in company with CCG icebreaker Louis S. St-Laurent, while Haley is leading seaman.
The six-week expedition will survey the Eurasian Basis, the Lamonosov Ridge and the North Pole area.
The information gathered will be used for Canada’s Arctic continental shelf submission to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
Loveless said the two icebreakers held a meet and greet at the North Pole, including a barbecue, and the crews were issued certificates and patches identifying them as part of a small and elite group of polar explorers.
“The feeling of stepping on the ice at the North Pole was definitely surreal,” he wrote on his and Haley’s behalf. “Being privileged to be a part of such a select few people to actually leave footprints where very few others have is indescribable.”
The trip to the North Pole was rough and noisy, as the ships encountered a lot of thick, multi-year ice during the three-week steam.
The day at the pole, however, was beautiful – the sun was shining, the air was crisp and the frost on the ice sparkled.
“People were golfing, playing soccer, throwing a Frisbee and taking lots of pictures,” Loveless wrote. “We even had a visit from Santa.”