Cape Lady Franklin shelter cabin small
The last two and a half days have seen us rowing non-stop. Except for some short breaks to wait out a change in the current we’ve been doing our 3-hour shifts essentially uninterrupted. This has been an unexpected surprise for us as the forecast has not been optimistic for this period.

The crossing from the mainland to Victoria Island is a hurdle we’ve been anticipating for some time. We make our traverse at the narrowing of the Dolphin and Union Strait where it feeds into the Coronation Gulf and use Lambert and Camping Islands as stepping stones of sorts, as points of protection for us if inclement weather roles in.
setting sun at shelter cabin small
With the narrowing of any large body of water there’s always the concern of increased currents and ocean anomalies that we’ve experienced rounding some of the larger capes. In many ways we’re a cork in these waters going where the wind and currents take us. It’s an unnerving reality – certainly when making larger crossings – and one we’ve come to live with. We counter this actuality by anchoring when we can or by anticipating where we’d be pushed if we can’t. Weeks ago when rounding Cape Parry we were being blown towards a 5+ ice pack (50% ice cover and no place for any boat other than an ice breaker) in the middle of Darnley Bay. Had it not been for our fortuitous landing on Bear Island we would have been cast into a heaving mass of ice akin to a thousand steel shipping containers grinding together in the midst of a gale. It was a sobering moment that has us anticipating worst case scenarios a lot closer now.
Inside shelter cabin small
On our crossing of Dolphin and Union Strait we cut the corner from Camping Island to Victoria Island, heading straight across Austin Bay to Cape Lady Franklin. The exposure to weather is more committing on this line but the saving in distance and time is impossible to resist. The weather only deteriorates in the final minutes of the crossing and we pull into another DEW Line station at the tip of Cape Lady Franklin.
Cape Lady Franklin Cabin Denis cooking small
There’s a small shelter cabin on shore and the prospect of a night in something other than our boat or tent has us giddy with anticipation. As the winds build and the skies darken, we unload The Arctic Joule and make our way to our evening shelter. We’ve finally have a little lady luck on our side, a little Lady Franklin luck.