National Geographic : 1959 Jan
winners of the flag-design contest, Electronics Technician 1/c James P. Knotts, Chief John Krawczyk, the photographer for this article, and Electrician's Mate 2/c James A. Morley. Chief Sonarman James R. Norris was de clared winner of the second contest. His name for transpolar veterans: PANOPO (Pacific to Atlantic via the North Pole). A paper blizzard engulfed the wardroom. Letters were being prepared, for signature at the Pole, to families, friends, and others most closely connected with Nautilus and this voyage. Yeoman 1/c Charles A. Payne groaned when he saw the work piling up. These letters would go out later with our North Pole cachet and postmark. Engineman 1/c Ernest F. Holland carved the postmark from a sheet of rubber. A commercial firm in Hawaii made the cachet for us with the words "Pearl Harbor" in the center. We substituted "North Pole," and Oahu Island became the ice pack (page 7). Passing through fairly light ice now six-tenths coverage with many large water openings suitable for surfacing as we near the Pole of Inaccessibility. This imaginary area is supposed to be the hardest to reach in the Arctic, almost the geographic center of the ice pack. It was located by taking all the points reached in the Far North by ship or sledge and then marking the center of the unexplored region. I found it hard to imagine the grinding floes and bitter cold overhead as I sat in my shirt sleeves, smoking my pipe and writing to my wife and my small sons Billy and Michael. August 3-10 a.m. Latitude 87° N. Passing history's, and our, farthest point north by ship. Soon the bottom rose up again as we crossed the Lomonosov Ridge. This 9,000-foot moun tain range is named for the Russian scientist who first predicted its existence from geophys ical studies of the earth's crust. I had hoped we would reach the Pole on my watch, but it was not to be. Close, but still some 75 miles to go when I went off duty. Dinner was delayed to allow party prepara tions to go on in the crew's mess. Leading cook Jack L. Baird put the finishing touches on his North Pole cake, with the replica of our I Skate Moors to the Ice Near the Huts of Station Alpha Said the IGY station commander: "Watching Skate's periscope come slowly up in our little lake was the eeriest experience of my life."