FROM 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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