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Russian Neptune gives God of Sea an offering

DAY 4

8:30 p.m. - 349 miles from the North Pole.

I am not sure you can invent a more stark contrast. The captain "garaged" the Yamal in a bed of ice, and he and the crew called the passengers to the aft deck.

A crew member dressed as Neptune, Greek God of the Seas, said in Russian that if the ship were to proceed – Neptune required an offering.

The offering turned out to be a large amount of German beer.

So here we are, in the ice, fogged in, on the aft deck, beer in the hand of a guy dressed up like Neptune, and what's next?

I'm not making this up: a BBQ with chicken, steak, and bratwurst.

I can't help but think of explorers from centuries past who traversed this ice, only to die of the cold and lack of food while we're here enjoying music and food on a nuclear powered icebreaker.

I feel guilty, but at the same time marvel at how far mankind has come. The first ship to make it to the pole was in 1958. It was a U.S. submarine.

My guess is we're two days away from the destination: 90 degrees. I know it'll probably look like it does here, iced over, with a dusting of snow, but my excitement is growing. Soon I'll be in a spot that sadly some scientists predict could melt away by the end of the century.