My last shift with Denis consisted of zero rowing. We started rowing but were making no progress due to the stiff headwinds so we spent three and half hours pushing the boat through the shallow water – we made 5.5 km in four hours. If we had calm conditions, we could row this in one hour with far less effort.

Over this time, my mind began to wander and realizing we can control so little up here, I began thinking about what we can control. My thoughts drifted to things we can do to give ourselves the best chance of moving forward. It’s probably stating the obvious but all we can control is our actions and nothing else. I suppose when you think about it, this is no different from life in general.

How I (or anybody else) performs in life is really down to focusing on what one can control. Whether it’s on this expedition, in my business or just life in general the only thing I can really control are my actions. There are so many things beyond my control so why bother worrying about them – like the actions of others, what anybody says or thinks of me, the economy…….the list is endless but yet it’s so easy to allow things like these occupy our head space.

I know from experience doing a lot of little things right on a consistent basis can yield significant results over time. So for now in my current environment, this means focusing on certain tasks at hand. Like trying to keep clothing as dry as possible, doing things in my “off shift” time to keep my spirits up. Making sure I keep myself well fed and hydrated. Maintain equipment as best we can so that it helps us as we intended.

A small example of this was when I noticed a hole in my dry suit today which was allowing water in. Frank has a repair kit with him for this so we patched that up – that was something we can control. As we are currently stuck on anchor, we all took the opportunity to hang some damp clothes out to dry – this is also something we can control. I know these might sound like little things and probably very obvious but its very important for us at the moment to focus on these things we can control and not allow things that we cannot (like the weather conditions) get the better of us mentally.

The bottom line for us right now is to simply do everything we can to give ourselves the best chance of positive outcomes, this is all we can do and the rest is out of our hands. It definitely adds a certain dimension to this trip, which is kind of cool. I suppose, in a way, the concept of control for us up here in the Arctic is no different than what it is back in Vancouver. Focus on how we as a team perform and results / outcomes will look after themselves…….

- Paul