2-6. Tuktoyaktuk-Cambridge Bay

Track


Logs ( 36 )

2-6. Tuktoyaktuk-Cambridge Bay

Tukking off

Juan dived, pitch changed by half a turn = 1.5 degrees and should make a difference headbanging into wind. Appendages on that one too please! Thanks, amodinos!
 
Most of the Tuk to do list done – been a bit of a rush – it's a working port and the only part that is deep enough for us and amodino is the tugboat and barge base so we are a bit in the weay. Everyone very kind but we don't want to outdo our welcome.
 
Forecast seems ok for the next day or so.
 
Next one from the boat, I hope.
 
 
2-6. Tuktoyaktuk-Cambridge Bay

K: Bare Feet

About 24 hrs after arriving in Tuk yesterday, we headed off again on our way to Cambridge Bay. For such a short stop-over, we got a surprisingly large number of things done from our to do list (including a wonderful hot shower!).

Not really a lot to say about Tuktoyuktuk, except that it has a wonderfully alliterative name. The town (settlement?) isn’t really set-up for visitors, but thanks to the wonderful hospitality of the barge operators from the NTCL freighting company, we managed the essentials – said showers, a lift into town to fill fuel cans, fresh water, laundry and a quick check of the email and ice reports. Oh – and pingos! I like pingos! Pingos are frost blisters in the land. As I understand it, water seeps in between the surface gravels, freezes and heaves the surface up a bit. Over a number of years this results in rounded domes several meters high rising from the otherwise flat tundra. Cool.

This morning Juan (Jr) from Amadino tried out his new diving dry suit and adjusted the pitch on Berri’s prop. As a result, we’re hooning along a lot more efficiently now. Which is lucky as there has been absolutely no wind whatsoever for most of the day. In fact, it’s been so toasty warm that we’ve had to shed layers and I’ve been traipsing around the boat in bare feet. In the Arctic – would you believe it?? The water temperature has also been surprisingly warm – 8 deg C in the harbour when Juan went for his dip, and up to 15 deg C on the way out past Tuktoyaktuk Peninsula past some shallow shoals. Very unexpected.

The weather forecast is looking good for the next couple of days – very light headwinds to start, then going around to the west for a nice downhill run (hopefully not quite so exciting as the last one, but I’ve been tinkering with our companionway splash guard to make it more water-tight, just in case). Ice forecast in “the straits” up ahead also promising (less than 1/10 cover to Cambridge), so all going we’re aiming to be in Cambridge Bay in 7-8 days. Very exciting!

There have been some wonderful mirages up here in the still weather today. We were able to see a couple of barges when they were well below the horizon – over 20 NM away according to the AIS.

OK, enough ranting from me. Alex has a radio sked with Peter in Cambridge Bay, and I’m going to mosey on into the galley and whip up some butter chicken and rice for dinner (followed by macadamia and white chocolate tarts).

Bye for now!

K.

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2-6. Tuktoyaktuk-Cambridge Bay

NWP just over the horizon 6955 13209

Berri once again fat with fuel and food and cleansing agents, on our way to Cape Bathurst, where, for me, the NW Passage really begins. I’ve just been talking to Peter Semotiuk in Cambridge Bay on the sked he runs for foolish persons like us who do silly things up here. I actually heard Tyhina as well – he’s over in the Baffin sea coming this way. Peter says there’s no ice between here and CB and it’s starting to move further east so we’re hoofing it across as fast as we reasonably can. Wind dead on the nose – as you’d expect – Amodino a couple of miles ahead and so far so good. But appendages, you lot!

Carla – hot stuff really good – Izz – Japanese and one other non fattening Restaurant offering – too hard to delve for it…Doug – tks for Catalina story – easy to imagine and weren’t those guys skilful! Check the rather sad story of the Akutan Zero. Pat – great blogs and how’s the brew going?? Megan – should be working hard on the speed. Hope the books were ok – Tks Mr Jackson! H – cake no 2 on the cusp. After C.Bathurst.

All we need now is Prostetnic Jeltz and his band of lugubrious poets in their yellow slimeballs to come and blast some ice from Peel Sound to build a wormhole for Franklin’s ghost to time travel and all should be Cool and Froody. Umm…perhaps they could upload the Examiner as well and read her some poems on the way to Squornshellous Zeta. And maroon her there. Yay!

Appendages!

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2-6. Tuktoyaktuk-Cambridge Bay

Closing circles 7008 13119

I sent the last sailmail message to the website via the Lunenburg, Nova Scotia sailmail station. When we were sailing up the Atlantic in 2005, Lunenburg was the station that seemed always to be in range or contactable. Again, on the way back to Hobart after the Fastnet that year, we used Lunenburg for a long way south. It's like meeting an old friend again and kind of special to be coming in from the other direction. It is 2486 miles from here – we must sail past it to stay on Pascal's dotted line.

There's an icebreaker, Sir Wilfred Laurier, anchored 4 miles away, down sun in the most magnificent display as the sun lights the clouds brilliant red and orange from just below the northern horizon.

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2-6. Tuktoyaktuk-Cambridge Bay

Reflections 7032 12923

The sea is polished undulating metal – grey, blue, white reflections – greenish water. There are whales to starboard – spouts V shaped and bushy (Carol, thanks for spout descriptions – was unable to download in Tuk, so don't have them with me)and they seem to hang in the air for ages, white against the misty horizon that merges sea and sky so that there is no definition. I saw graceful tail flukes. A seal, small, curious, followed us for a bit. There's been a bug sitting on Kevvo but he's gone. A gaggle of birds breaking the reflections as they sit on the water in silhouette half a mile away.

The grib gives us no wind for a day and we're trickling along with the engine just above idle at at about 4 knots, a trail of little bubbles behind on the silver surface and the faint disturbance of our wake the only ruffle on the surface. Generations of Eskimos have been here on the ice and in their boats hunting bears and seals and whales, then the whalers, the explorers Amundsen, Stefansson and all the rest plus the missionaries – and now there's just us.

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2-6. Tuktoyaktuk-Cambridge Bay

McQ: Bol's Point

Well here we are, depending on your source of reference, in the Northwest Passage!!! According to the Arctic Wildlife book on board it begins at Point Barrow, some people even say Arctic Circle to Arctic Circle at the other side. But I think for me it will become real when we turn the corner in 22 miles at Cape Bathurst and hang a right into the Amundsen Gulf!!! Its all so very exciting, and still a little unbelievable that we have come this far and are really, really a mere Hobart or Fastnet from Cambridge Bay- which definitely for me is the place that marks the fact that we are in the thick of things. All reports indicate there should be no real problems with ice between here and Cambridge Bay too- we passed an icebreaker last night and Big A had a chat with him- great, but fingers fully crossed we don’t have to meet him again, in anger!!! Then, we shall see how things look from Cambridge Bay for what is happening, ice wise, further along…
Not much else to report from here at the moment, we are just pootling along in no wind, with a dash of engine assistance!!!
Oh yes, Jo, we are currently driving over Liverpool Bars and I thought of you!!!
And not so long ago we passed ‘Bol’s Point’- Pretty cool they named a point after me up here, alongside Amundsen and the like, and even before I’d got here!!! Sweet!!!
Lots of love
McQ
xxx

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2-6. Tuktoyaktuk-Cambridge Bay

K: Midnight meanderings

Hmmm, looking back on the track Corrie's sailed over the last few hours, my only conclusion is that she must have overdosed on chocolate oreos pretty early on in her watch!

Since coming on deck, I've watched the windex circle the mast-top aimlessly to the point that I've given up on sailing altogether and have dropped the mainsail too. At least we're motoring in the right direction! I'm now brewing a coffee and hiding from the rain – Corrie forgot to mention the big grey cloud that caught up with us on the watch change, probably part of the reason she headed to her bunk cackling.

If I turned the boat 90 degrees to starboard now while everyone else is asleep, I could hijack Berri and head down to the Smoking Hills at the bottom of Franklin Bay. Unfortunately, they're too far off our track and the others would be well and truly awake before we got there. Pity, sounds like a fascinating place.

Not really a lot else to report – just waiting for the wind to fill in so we can keep pootling across Amundsen Gulf. And today's shade of grey of course! The sea started out as liquid mercury at the other end of the day, with hints of pink and blue as the sun rose. At this end of the day it's more like used tinfoil that someone's flattened out ready to use again but left in the drawer for a few months – all crinkly and slightly tarnished and dull. I'm pretending that the big grey cloud isn't out there, so I'm not even going to contemplate it's shade of grey, apart from the fact that it's wet-looking.

OK, kettle's boiled so I'm outta here. Ta ra all!

K.

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2-6. Tuktoyaktuk-Cambridge Bay

Why is it so # 1025 - 7013 12411

I’ve seen lots of whales since Tuk. A whale sounding is the most gracefully smoothly fluid movement – beats a cellist’s hand on the bow in an Elgar slow movement – first you see a glimpse of the head and the spout, then the back seems to uncoil through the surface, the last third lifts out of the water with the flukes drooping at the points and water running off them all sparkly and it straightens and slowly slowly disappears with almost no ripple on the water. Lovely to watch but why have some whales evolved so that they do it this way? Why is it more efficient or more effective for the tail to rise out of the water? Unbuoyed weight, perhaps, or visual warning? Intuitively it seems to me that there would be more downward thrust if the tail was used as part of the movement.

As you will have gathered, Amundsen Gulf is misbehaving. However, having now read Charlie Brower’s book once more, I will never ever bleat again about things being difficult. This gig has been a stroll in the sunshins compared to what first the Eskimos and then Charlie and his contemporaries achieved up here. Three incidents that are almost incomprehensible to this modern softy – when he had to sew up his trouser seams to stay alive at 50 below, his 12 days leading a party off the ice from the Narchuk and the journeys of his 2 messengers from Barrow to the ‘outside’ midwinter to take news of the rescue of ships crews. Intelligent, ingenious, resilient improvisation to make use of what was available for survival.

Eleanor – half a chance, AGW that we could be in on the 9th or earlier.

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2-6. Tuktoyaktuk-Cambridge Bay

McQ: A day in the life of a Berri watch handover..!!

So I came on watch a few hours ago, just as we were being massively headed- pointing north in fact!! A lumpety lumpety short sea was building too and we had a bit of engine assistance and were using it to get as much height as we could without the stopping dead in our tracks at each wave…Big A disappeared down below quick smart with a parting grin and ‘have fun’!!! It was one of those watch handovers… so we pootled along like that for a bit, our COG 40 degrees to the left of our course, Ray bleeping incessantly at me, grrrrrrr, keeping an eye on boat speed and vmg- when the vmg was down to 2.5 knots I decided to tack: at the very least the motion would be smoother across the waves and they wouldn’t stall us quite so much… so tack we did, and laugh heartily out loud I did as we were now pointing just west of south!!!! grrrrrr more!!!! we settled down and with the angle of the waves we were able to come up a bit, our COG still about 20 degrees out only in the other direction, and keep the sails just working and Ray shut up and just drove for a while too… vmg even went up to 4 and a bit knots for a bit!!! Then we got headed massively again, time to wake Kimbra, so tacked back and the wind kept veering as we did so: so we are now finally pointing in the right direction, only now the wind (all of 5 knots) is now almost directly behind us so we have next to no apparent now and we are trying to make slow progress over the lumpy sea!!! Kimbra came up on deck as I was putting our flogging headsail away… A few more revs on the engine and after explaining the trials and tribulations of my watch I grinned, said ‘have fun’!! and disappeared down below… another of those watch handovers!!
Lots of love to everyone and thinking of you for tomorrow, my Dave M.
McQ
xxx
ps. I just looked at our track over the past few hours, its kinda this cute swirly curvy pattern!!! Not straight at all but quite hilarious!!!

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2-6. Tuktoyaktuk-Cambridge Bay

The pointy bit! 6939 12002

Berri's GPS log reads 8496 miles from Sydney. The next thousand miles or so are where it all comes together – or doesn't! Anyone who has followed these blogs for more than a dogwatch will know that, for me, half way in a marathon comes somewhere between 30 and 35 kilometres (out of 42.2, for the athletically challenged). All the training, all the planning, dieting, headbanging mental gymnastics that go with pushing things way past ones armchair comfort zone actually go on the line when it starts to hurt. For this gig, that's about here. It isn't pain that could stop us though, but ice and the condition of the boat and particularly the engine.

There is no ice between here and Cambridge Bay and I don't yet know what there is to the east of CB. From CB, we can go either side of King William Island (the east side is usually better but it's further) and then, if we can get that far, we can go through Bellot Strait if it's open, or stay in Peel Sound up to Lancaster Sound. Lancaster gets us out into the Baffin Sea… The south side of Bellot is the northernmost point of the North American mainland and it marks the north end of the Boothia Peninsula, aptly named after a George (I think) Booth who financed a Franklin rescue mission but, more importantly, founded the Booth's Dry Gin distillery.

If – big if! – we can get to Lancaster, with time to spare, we'll go to Beechey Island and leave some beer for the HMP mob to collect next year and pay our respects to John Torrington and his fellow corpses.

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2-6. Tuktoyaktuk-Cambridge Bay

6926 11830

Yo Dittsum Man! If you get this before you go, please tell Eleanor we will definitely go into Cambridge Bay but may not hang around if the ice further east looks good. ETA late 8th, early 9th if weather holds.

If we not there, find Amodino – big green 2 masted yacht – they will be there before us – if they intend to stay, they would prob be happy to offer bench to sleep on. Also Peter Semotiuk.

xx

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2-6. Tuktoyaktuk-Cambridge Bay

Woody Allen 6910 v11623

80% of success, said the Sage, is just turning up. I think we can say that we are here – for us, the next 80% will be whether we can be where the ice isn't between Cambridge and Bellot Strait. Speeds, if you are reading this and not in the pub in Dittisham, perhaps you could post Pat's thoughts on the ice from Cambridge – good stuff and shows the complexity of what we have to do rather better than I can.

These will be short from here to CB and perhaps beyond. Hoping to meet Eleanor, via HMP and Resolute, in CB. That would be a special r/v!

Carla, Spaceman up there supervising! Lerizhan, perhaps?

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2-6. Tuktoyaktuk-Cambridge Bay

The Central Arctic

Hi all, Hope this gives you a feel for what is to come…
The American Arctic has several very different regions.  Most of the old documentaries are of the Central Arctic. That is the place the Berrimilla is about to enter.
 In grade school, every Friday, they showed us films of 'The' 'Eskimo' that lived in small snow igloos, never had to discipline their children, were extremely peaceful never knowing war, and had to hunt all day on these incredibly expanses of unbelievable flat ice to bring home one seal. I would look out the window at these mountains of ice pressure ridges. I knew several older people who were on the last 'raids'. They would sail over to Russia, find a village, kill all the men and steal all the women. Children were negotiable. I remember seeing 3 feet piles of human skulls from a place 60 miles from Nome, from the Russians last 'raids'. Hell; we had several human skulls in our living room. When people went hunting here they would return with many many seals and have tales of the time they got 100 seals. No one knew what a snow igloo was. Igloos here were made of sod. It was so different… where did they come up with this peaceful nomadic non since?
The Bering sea is alive with people, weather, sea mammals, life and death. It is a boiling soup of trouble and food. The Bering sea culture extends to the Mackenzie river. 
The Central Arctic is where one has to spend all ones energy just to stay alive. There are no real storms. The sea ice freezes (relatively) flat. Villages are spread out hundreds and hundreds of miles. There used to be no villages. There is little food. People were nomads and found their food by walking hundreds of miles. Always on the move. Musk-ox on Banks island, caribou on migration hundreds of miles south and west, seals miles out on the ice in the dead of winter, fish in the rivers in the spring… this was the stuff we saw in all those movies. Truly a barren land. I have walked for miles across some of these arctic islands and have not seen even lichen on the rocks. No moss, no grass, no soil in the cracks in the rocks… nothing. There is no erosion on the beaches. In fact, there are no beaches. The water ends, and the shore just goes on and inland. Things do not decay. Artifacts from the Franklin expedition era are still scattered about. We once stopped to make camp at a perfect site. The area was on a glacier rebound, so every 100 years a new level sprang out of the sea. A short walk up the hill we found a camp fire. odd, considering there is no wood. This was followed by 6 to 8 levels of large Inuit type tent circles or rocks in groups of 2 or 3. Above that was 20 levels of very small Dorset tent circles, all singles. This line of tent leftovers represented a couple thousand years of visits. Every stone was in its place.
Everyone left a mark and every mark will stay… This is the Central Arctic. 
The tiny ship from down under will be in the quiet zone… and they will be very very alone, and they will feel the history.
I kind of liked it, after living in the strait.

Pat

2-6. Tuktoyaktuk-Cambridge Bay

Inuit

The Arctic people..Inuit.(Eskimos)  It is the same language,culture, people from Nome to Greenland. That's over 3000 miles Add the historic extremes to the Saint Lawrence seaway and you have 4000 miles.

In the days of Eric the Red and the new colonies on Iceland and Greenland, a culture was exploding at Barrow. Whales were abundant and the years supply of food could be put away in a month following a single whale hunt. The frozen ground provided a great freezer.The rest of the year was spent on the social and cultural development. The population exploded.
A large group split off on conquest to the east. They killed, conquered, absorbed everything in their path. There is one written record of this event. The colony on Greenland was attacked by hundreds of umiaks and kayaks. Western technology surprised the Inuit and they retreated to regroup. A ship was dispatched to Iceland for help. When help arrived, no one was left. Nothing. The Catholic archives has the account. I have never read it. Inuit spread to the Saint Lawrence seaway and stopped.

800 years later, that's all we know. One of the greatest conquests of all time. (In terms of distance).

There is a row of tent rocks on an empty island, as the land rises after the glaciers left.
The Berrimilla will not blink when she goes by.

Pat

2-6. Tuktoyaktuk-Cambridge Bay

6839 11339

Disconcerting being this close to land – especially when you can't see it! About 200 to CB where it starts in earnest. This is really just a position report – comms too difficult for more.

Later – now 1528Z @ 6826 11310 unable send this stuff by sailmail – will try iridium. Around the next corner, past big DEW line station at Becher Point. I wonder whether anyone saw us go by about a mile offshore.

Pat, tks for wx and ice – pse copy to speedy as well. We must organise an iridium sked for the next bit.

About 180 to CB

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2-6. Tuktoyaktuk-Cambridge Bay

Slooow motion 6840 10859

Time slows down in the last few k's of a marathon – everything on a large scale, like the whale's tail, seems to move so slowly. We're 90 miles from Cambridge Bay or about 20 hours of normal time. Fickle wind but in the right direction, mostly. We have to hand steer all the way because the electric autopilot cant cope with what the chart calls a magnetic anomaly. Plus, the variation here is about 40 degrees. One consequence is that these blogs don't happen – they tend to get written while on watch with one or other of the autopilots in charge.

Anyway, we are crawling towards CB in relative time.

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2-6. Tuktoyaktuk-Cambridge Bay

Sat link

Alex just called by sat phone. The Berrimilla is 20 miles from CB under the motor power.
Communication is difficult as one can imagine. They will have to make a repair or two at CB.
Phones, showers, and people. (The old rules allowed the sale of beer on fri evening only…one hour of sales. no other limits. One can drink themselves silly and be to work on Monday) I'm not sure if Peter S is in town, but if he is it will be a great help.

Pat

2-6. Tuktoyaktuk-Cambridge Bay

Almost CB – For Eleanor 6901 10536

We're about 25 miles from the wharf at Cambridge Bay. Amodinos there already. Pat says go, so big Consultation tonight and maybe out again tomoz – watch this space. Absolutely unbelievable that we are here – 8900 miles to do the next 500. Cross 'em please, you lot! Eating Carla's Snickers as we go.

El – if we do leave tomoz, I'll be really sorry to miss you. One of those times when the diem has to be carped with attitude. Find Peter S. – I may be able to leaver stuff with him. xx

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2-6. Tuktoyaktuk-Cambridge Bay

Old reports

We should have been posting these all along. 
This goes back a couple days. I'll post some to catch you all up.
This was trying to move the Berri out of Tuk.
Alex,

It looks wide open!! rotten ice here and there in Coronation Gulf, but the stiff south wind off the interior (warm) will destroy it by the time you arrive. Go to Cambridge Bay. Queen Maud is almost open right down the middle. You should be able to sneak through before the broken pack floats south to clog Queen Maud Gulf. In a week or two the rest should be open. West of Somerset Is. is chocked, but Peel is breaking up! I think you are going to make it.

Cheer leader Pat

2-6. Tuktoyaktuk-Cambridge Bay

skip

It was the skip that killed Franklin. Ross before Franklin miss identified coast features, because of the skip, which caused Franklin to make fatal errors. 

Alex,

By now you have seen the ‘skip’ or mirage as you travel through glassy, icy water. What you may have not noticed is the skip is an exact distance.  I have never found a description of it in any arctic book, so here goes… 
As you travel through ice the ocean heat causes a ‘light ray’ deflection that has an exact distance. I really don’t understand the science, nor care to. The mirage you see is a very narrow cross section of the ice/ocean you are about to encounter. It can be anywhere from 3 to 10 miles out. If you pay attention to the ‘line’ as you proceed, you will be able to see and map it in your mind. As you move you will notice the line (skip) always moves down. Note the mirage of ice vs the ocean and watch until you have crossed that section…you will have the distance of the skip. It is really very simple, and very valuable. You can navigate through the largest holes in the ice. You can ‘see’ areas of ice and totally avoid them. The skip is clear enough that I have seen logs and other boats for a brief moment miles before we encounter them.

If it is cloudy you can also gage the amount of ice, 3 to 10 miles ahead by the reflection in the clouds. Dark clouds indicate open water, light clouds indicate ice. This is well known to many, so is probably redundant to you. You don’t get a clear map, but it is very easy to see.

Megan, Anna and I snooped through the beer kit last night. I’ll get started this weekend. Thank you. I think you started something here.

Pat

2-6. Tuktoyaktuk-Cambridge Bay

The Berri had just left Tuk

Alex

Timing continues to look perfect. Queen Maud 'let go' its ice two days ago which will clog any lee wind side. (Now the eastern side is clogged) By the time you skate through it should be completely open. We'll continue to hope the ice to the north of Queen Maud  stays firm and does not get pushed south until you are through.Peel ice also looks broken and drifted south  but does not appear to be clogging anything new. Its just disappearing. Gjoa Haven and Spence Bay are looking inviting. I still think you will make it. Your next 1000 miles may be painfully slow. (After the Bering blitz) Wish I were there.

Our beer is looking inviting. 

Brewed on Saturday. It's burping away! I just sat there watching it. Its like watching the ocean or a fire place. Peaceful. How does one wait 3 months after its bottled? I think one has to have at least a dozen kits to keep the supply in order. Clark is eyeing it. 3 months may be impossible. I think a bottle from Pete's empty supply needs to be filled with Nome brew and sent south of the equator.

Pat

I'm not sure you are getting ice reports. My opions mean nothing if you are. Its just fun to be involved at any level.
Give the ladies a hug for us.

2-6. Tuktoyaktuk-Cambridge Bay

Aug 4

Alex,

Just studying the ice maps (haven't looked at weather- does it matter?).
I'm wishing you were about 500 miles ahead of where you are. Good move exiting Tuk. It is opening up surprisingly fast. Too fast. Todays ice report shows progress I would expect next week. Perhaps they were slow in posting the info. The north side of King William Island is breaking up very fast, but still a solid chock hold. Peel open to Perry (Name?) Strait and western Perry open to greenland. West of Summerset Island showing sudden extreem progress. The western chock hold on the Queen is letting loose. 

At this melt progress, use all the speed you can muster. I think it will be prime in a week.

Pat

2-6. Tuktoyaktuk-Cambridge Bay

At home in Nome

Alex

There are 3 small boats caught in the ice off point Barrow. Coast Guard is 2-3 hundred miles away. Rescues under way by chopper.
Just met with the 4 star Admiral of the US Coast Guard. We are trying to offer a permanent site to the guard far a permanent station. I think we made a reasonable play for the honor.

Pat

2-6. Tuktoyaktuk-Cambridge Bay

aug 6 Berri passing coronation

Alex,

I'll be loosing you off the Alaska thermal loop map soon. Just short of CB. I can still see the Kent Penn. The Canadian fixed maps do not show nearly the same understanding as loops. I'll still have a good idea.

Your westerlies will continue. There are still 2 large storms in the gulf of Alaska, fueling your heat, wet and wind. You are in the broken off tail of the first storm. I expect it will die off and the second wave of westerlies will follow soon. More than enough to push you to CB. These winds are confused beyond CB.

The ice in the Eastern Queen Maud chock is spreading out and thinning, and just passable. One narrow band of heavy ice 4/10 on the eastern edge. Scares me today, but 'tomorrow' it will be good. 50 degrees in Gjoa H & Spence Bay 

West of King William (Larsen?) has a false opening as of yesterday.(Remember Sir Franklin).Its very good news as far as ice decay north of King W. It means Mc'Clintock is holding firm. We really need to get you through before Mc'Clintock breaks up. It will pour into the Queen and/ or push up against exposed Boothia.Which, by the way is holding firm(good) and thinning (also good until you are closer).

I'm still thinking you are a little behind, and catching up with these westerlies. Ross and Franklin are still looking prime in a short week. Peel scattered/open and Parry open.

Pat

2-6. Tuktoyaktuk-Cambridge Bay

Everything just stopped.

This was a scary moment. When you think you know it all. Mother nature says different.

Alex
Everything is changing. The Pacific storms slowed/stopped moving NW or reversed.
It’s still in your favor for the moment. the weather over Boothia is intense. great for breaking up ice,( too soon, but we’ll take it.) Resolute is getting wind hammered from the west. that will break the weak ice of Parry and move it east…that will block Peel & Resolute. This will all fall into place soon. The ice pack is a solid wall just west of Resolute. all to the east of Resolute is wide open
There has been very warm temperatures across the islands. The water has been warmed by a degree or two, so any ice movement into warm water will destroy that moving ice. Also the season melt has been very aggressive in the last 2 weeks catching it up to 2 years ago and very close to last year.
You need to be across the Queen very soon. Both Gjoa Haven and Sprence Bay (Taloyoak) are good places to wait, but I don’t think you’ll have to wait.
The beer burp has slowed way down. Its almost ready for bottling.

Pat

2-6. Tuktoyaktuk-Cambridge Bay

Today

Alex,

Go go go! Go to Spence bay.
The Queen is open. One small band of 2/10 loose ice. Go right across the middle.There is a small pool of heavier ice on the SE side of Maud. East side of King William is all wide open.

The last gut is the the west side of Boothia. (Franklin St.) Not open yet, but this weather should have kicked it good. It has to be ready to go and should open about when you arraive. Wide open through Peel to Resolute. The moving ice at Resolue melted as I hoped. Nothing chocked up. Eastern Parry still wide open with a few floaters around. East side of Somerset closed. No Bellot Strait.

The bit of weather above Boothia has moved NW to over Resolute. It’s still a kick-ass system for the northern islands, breaking ice up where you need it broken.

Both Gjoa Haven and Spence Bay show SSW winds at 10mph and 10C. (Still warm!) Resolute 30 to 40 mph out of the W. 40F

Winds across the queen will be confussed. West at first… L to the south, H to the north.

Pat

2-6. Tuktoyaktuk-Cambridge Bay

Cambridge Bay – courtesy of Wikipedia


Click to enlarge.

2-6. Tuktoyaktuk-Cambridge Bay

Arrived Cambridge Bay

Satphone from Alex:
Berrimilla is tied up alongside in CB.
Hoping to continue tomorrow. Crew deserted in search of warm water.
More later.

Speedy.

2-6. Tuktoyaktuk-Cambridge Bay

Cambridge Bay, wherever google earth thinks it is.

Wonderful place. I’m set up with internet, coffee and the works courtesy of Corey – who went to Adelaide U as an exchange student and is a Coopers fan. If it wasn’t illegal, I would leave him my last bottle of Pete’s brew. Sadly, I’m not allowed to bring it ashore – this is a dry town. Have to go check into Canada with the RCMP in half an hour – we are once again in the poo for not having proper papers, despite my very best efforts. I even phoned ahead to Tuk and was told not to worry, we didn’t need to check in. Ho hum!

Long talk with Peter Semotiuk this morning and he says there’s no hurry – the passage will certainly open soon. I hope he’s right, but on that basis, we will wait at least until Eleanor gets here tomorrow. That will be a special meeting – provided that the planes are flying. Resolute under the weather at the mo.

More later. Must go do my duty. Will try to send some pics but will give cd to Eleanor as well so she can post from somewhere with better connection.

2-6. Tuktoyaktuk-Cambridge Bay

some photos, if this works

From the top
Bering Strait sunset C. PoWales to R, Russia just vis ible under the clouds L, Diomedes centre.
Bering St clouds, looking north, sun just below horizon
First ice!
Old blue ice, E of Point Barrow – before we really got into the 4-5/10ths and I could still take photos
Biggish bergy bits in the fog

2-6. Tuktoyaktuk-Cambridge Bay

more



Alongside Nunakput – big tug who were very kind to us.
Tuk scenery
Kimbra beautifying toenails

2-6. Tuktoyaktuk-Cambridge Bay

and more - desperately slow!

Calm
More calm
Becher Point NWS
Approaching Cb yesterday – NWS at left, town at right
The old and the reasonably new

2-6. Tuktoyaktuk-Cambridge Bay

last lot


Alongside – strong westerly blowing.
2-6. Tuktoyaktuk-Cambridge Bay

Just a few more


Grey with wildlife
grey
McQ
2-6. Tuktoyaktuk-Cambridge Bay

The loneliness of the long distance sailor…

This will be a photo of Gary Ramos leaving CB in Arctic Wanderer after 3 years. Godspeed, Gary!

Time for us to go too – ice not looking too hopeful in Franklin but we need to be over there to catch any tiny opening. Huge crossings of appendages please – from here it gets very iffy indeed. We will leave tonight or early tomorrow morning unless there are contrary indications.

2-6. Tuktoyaktuk-Cambridge Bay

Tonight it is.

We will almost certainly leave tonight, when all the bits and pieces have been done, phone calls made, ice reports collected…

There is a 20 kt easterly forecast for Queen Maud overnight then to NW – not the best and may further block Franklin but I think we have to be there to take any opportunity that opens. AGW, about 3 days to Taloyoak (used to be Spence Bay) where we can wait in reasonable comfort  for a week or two if necessary. Won't be easy but necessity dictates.

Photos – Wreck of Amundsen's Maud and an inuksuk (or perhaps an inunnguaq).