Polar thin stories
Polar explorers live and work in extreme conditions. In winter the temperature drops to – 50 below zero. In strong wind the explorer can reach the measurement devices only all fours. In past the tents were not as warm as they are now. From the explorers’ memories: “ We woke up in the morning at – 15 C. We gave up the idea to wash faces with snow – at -30 the pieces of ice scratches the skin”.
For us the polar explorers are severe men, proudly looking at us from the schoolbooks. But a pilot Vodopianov and a radio-operator Krenkel had a very good sense of humor. Here is one of their jokes. Papanin was fond of assembling, disassembling and cleaning of his gun and once Krenkel added him two extra screws. Ivan Papanin for a long time was assembling the gun getting angry and not understanding why there were unused parts.
Before the second World War all Polar stations from Murmansk to Anadir were stricken by the news about “The Heroes of Arctic” watches. Rumors said that there was a special production of the 2-nd Watch Factory. The face of the watch was decorated with the picture of one of famous explorers and four times a day a shaggy and bearded head of Otto Schmidt appeared in a special window and said “Ku-Ku”. The order could be sent to Sevmorput office. … Or on Dickson Island the visiting journalists were told by secret that a flock of mammoths had thawed from ice and as they were to big to load on the plane they were being shepherded to the nearest sea port. The pilots made special flights to throw off the hay… The watch orders entered the Sevmorput office and the journalists run after the pilots asking them to show the mammoth and making laughing the whole airport staff.
Vladimir Koshelev, the head of “Severniy Polus- 32” station and the member of “Severniy Polus -22, 25” expeditions tells that “Nord Oust” musical artists were brought to SP-32 station so that they could feel the Polar specifics. They were told the following joke: The first Polar expedition consisted of four persons. When Petr Shirshov was on duty he used to fire the furnace too hot. Having received several reproaches from his friends he made the following poster: “The Pole explorers are not afraid of heat! But they are afraid of cold, hunger and work!” Since that this poster was kept at the station for the following 13 seasons together with “Glory to the Communist Party” and “Onward to Communism” posters.
Party meetings were also held at the station. Even three member of the Communist Party made a local party nucleus. During the meeting the non-members of the Party were asked to leave the tent. Ernst Krenkel, the radio-operator of the first drifting station was not a member of the Communist Party. Once he received a secrete political radiogram and handed it to the head of the station Ivan Papanin. Then Krenkel had to leave the tent and run around it while the close party meeting was held in the tent.
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