27 March 2007

Position:  73-12N/145-09W

Temperature:  -1ºF


Greetings from APLIS, adrift in the Arctic Ocean.


Not as cold as yesterday but the wind still has us isolated to the area immediately surrounding the camp.  We’ve had to postpone a surfacing we had planned for ALEXANDRIA today but have a couple more days to fit that in.  Meanwhile, the Stargate people are shooting here near camp, allowing me to turn this over to somebody else again.  From Stargate, here’s Amada Tapping:


Hello there everyone!  I am so thrilled to be here and to be able to tell you about my experience so far.  I am in love with the Arctic and have decided to buy real estate up here.  It’s going cheap!


I am still grappling with the fact that we are adrift on the ocean!  Aaaiiiieeeeyyyy!  You can see the frozen waves as you look out over the landscape.  It is so magical up here.


Barry Campbell briefed our team very well before we left Vancouver and we have the following mantras that are vital to our survival…. “ Cotton Kills”  and “Sweating is Death”.  I had a nightmare the other night about an army of soft Cotton Fruit of the Loom T-shirts marching across the frozen landscape and assaulting us in our sleep!  I awoke in a panic with sweat dripping down my back….I await my slow and imminent death.


We have been able to film a few key scenes for the movie.  I keep forgetting that is why we are actually here!  On Sunday we were able to go on board the USS Alexandria and were given an incredible tour and served lunch.  It was fascinating.  When the sub is able to surface again we will film on board.  We have shot one surfacing so far.  We have also shot some walk and talk scenes with Ben and myself.  One particular scene that we shot as the sun was setting will stick with me as perhaps the most magical experience of my career.  The ice made a hollow moaning sound in places and the “snow” crunched beneath our feet.  The sky at sunset was a beautiful pink and I knew I was in paradise.



Amanda and Ben at Sunset


Thank goodness for our amazing cooks, Victoria, Stephanie and Trina.  They are keeping us going with gourmet cooking that rivals some of the best restaurants I have ever been to.  Barry told us we could eat 5000 calories a day and still lose weight!   I have taken this part of the mission very seriously.  Sadly, I don’t think even Barry anticipated the amazing morsels we would be served.  I don’t think anyone is losing weight here!


The people here are amazing and so welcoming.  They are a wacky bunch of intrepid explorers with hearts of gold, deep belly laughs, and wonderful stories.

We have settled in to camp life with ease.


The Stargate girls have taken over New York, New York.  We nested like little mice when we got in.  We filled the cracks with paper towel and duct tape, put the ice on to boil as our humidifier, made “carpets” out of cardboard boxes and duct tape decorated with Sharpies, and filled the hooch with aromatherapy courtesy of Brenda Turner (hair/ make-up).    MacGyver would be proud!  Now if only we’d brought a cappuccino maker!


APLIS stands for Applied Physics Laboratory Ice Station, but I am told it really stands for Abnormal People Living in Sheds.  I proudly count myself as one of them!


I am off now to shoot a scene where a helicopter will drop Ben and me on the ice and then take off again while we are filmed from a distance.  It will give the audience the idea of how vast and desolate this place is and how desperate the situation is.  I, for one, hope that they spot any Polar Bears before Ben and I do.  I have visions of a Polar Bear being chased by a helicopter as Ben and I await our slow and imminent deaths……..But seriously, have I mentioned how much I LOVE it here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Amanda Tapping

“Colonel Sam Carter”


It’s been interesting having the Stargate crew here at APLIS.  They are all good, down-to-earth people and have fit right in with our APLIS team.  Everyone is going to remember this experience for a long time.


Jeff Gossett

Arctic Submarine Laboratory