(Sent from the Passage on Tuesday 31
Ok we have made it to Resolute Bay!
Been an amazing day of fighting our way through the thick sea
ice and fog for the first time!
We left Beechey Island in calm seas and almost immediately ran
into a pretty substantial beam sea and Tim helmed so well through
We made it across the sound and the huge cliffs loomed out of
the sea and mist with the sun finding a small gap in the clouds to
illuminate the land and guide us through.
We stopped briefly at the long line of deep sea ice and had a
cup of tea to take stock and ready ourselves for the next phase and
our first real time in amongst it all...
as soon as we started moving it became a game of chess to weave
our way through the maze of floating ice. We were at a crawl with
Ben helming, Dave on the roof with the binos and Tim on the
foredeck with the boathook pushing the ice left or right to make a
We finally pushed through on one engine with the other engines
raised to avoid damaging all of them if we had an 'incident!'
Eventually we found a clear-ish channel of smaller ice and could
open it up and pray! The hull pushed the little bits of ice aside
and we were soon flying around the edge of the ice pack heading for
Finally we had to turn north back into the sea ice and weave
once more towards Resolute.
Then suddenly the ice opened and out of the dense fog we could
see the natural harbour of Resolute Bay the most northerly point in
We refuelled on the shingle shore, dropped anchor and are now
holed up in building sorting kit out and readying ourselves for a
6am departure where we now head south into Peel Sound and this is
where it will get even more interesting!
Well done my team- legends one and all!
We've had an epic day. We encountered big seas and gloomy fog
across the Wellington Channel, only to break out of the fog and
discover a wall of ice in front of us as far as we could see,
covering 70%-80% of the sea surface.
With patience and a little raw power from the throttles here and
there we pushed ice out of the way and snaked our way through to
open water an hour or two later.
After 15 more miles of 20%-40% ice we found Resolute Bay in the
advection fog. What an achievement! Resolute is one of
the furthest outposts in the Arctic, and the must-pass-thru
location for anyone attempting to reach the North Pole from
Canada. Excitement and relief both.
We drove the RIB up on the beach and coaxed our scheduled petrol
truck down to the water so we could run 2000 L of fuel into our 8
tanks. We swapped out propellers, bled the air on the shock
mitigation system, and then put the RIB out to anchor so we could
sleep under a roof on land for a night.
Summary is, we're having a blast. Trip of a lifetime. Lots of
joking and laughing, and then the occasional very serious moment
which keeps us on alert all the time. Everyone is in great
The entire team is terrific. Support and logistics people have
been tireless in prep and prep and more prep. They've been on
We couldn't do this without the team on land making it all
Tomorrow we're departing early. Not at sunrise, because that's
pretty much right after sunset. We've got our longest day yet
in front of us, and all we know for certain is that there is a
large ice field just outside of Resolute Bay that I can see from
the window of our motel. But we're rested and ready for it.