Things change quickly in the arctic. Paul and I finished our midnight shift with Stan’s Northwest Passage still in our minds and handed the oars to Frank and Denis. Time for a little shut-eye after cooking, eating, writing and fixing essentials. Busy times on the boat.

We’re not asleep for long when the heaving and slamming of the boat rouses us from our slumber. I glance through the cabin door to see Frank and Denis rowing intently, faces stern, tempo high. The sea is steep and choppy and the wind is bearing down on us with intent. It’s a far cry than the calm we were experiencing just a few hours ago.

Cabin bound small

When Paul and I take our turn again at the oars forward movement is all but halted. It takes us 90 minutes of rowing in position to realize that our efforts are fruitless. We take refuge in a small bay on the coast and wait for things to change. We’re in the game now.