FROM 2-5. Nome-Tuktoyaktuk (Canada)

Of Cook and sun and sealing wax 7033 16143

I’m not sure of the exact latitude, but I think that for the first time in my life and certainly in Berri’s, we are both beyond the limits of the globe reached by Cook. A moment for pause and contemplation. Or Consultation. On his way back from here to Hawaii and history, he called in somewhere on the Russian coastline, perhaps at C Dezhneva, where he met a party of Russians and he gave them a package of his charts and despatches for the Admiralty and asked them to do what they could to forward them. The package reached London many months later, possibly after Cook himself was dead. Those papers still exist, probably at Greenwich – I wish they had the (almost certainly canvas and oilskin)wrapping and seals as well. What a story they could tell! Don’t assume, Whitters – find out when we actually get somewhere. One for MJC, perhaps?

107 miles from Barrow – this time tomorrow AGW. Then the real business will begin – this rather large pedestal we have constructed since April has been designed to get us up to here and launch us eastwards. We’ll miss the eclipse and probably any chance of a rendezvous with the HMP people but I intend to call them when we get around the corner to find out when they will be leaving. I reckon we are about a month away from Beechey if everything goes perfectly and the Examiner is still chained to that lamp post. We have used about 40 litres of diesel so far – about 10% of our load, with another day of certain motoring to Barrow. A bit of a punt, but so far it’s looking like a good one.

Again for the first time in my life that hasn’t been grey and overcast, the sun almost didn’t set – it was actually just below the northern horizon last night but reflecting off the low cloud and fogbanks and giving the cloud and rolling fog a deep red inner glow, like the inside of a furnace. It was so vivid that I broke out the Nik and recorded it – would love to send it to you to share the moment, but think wonder and quiet pleasure and Berri happily tooling along poled out (we actually sailed for about 3 hours!)and you’ll get the idea.

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