One of the tricky things with being on sea anchor over the past 36 hours has been the false lulls. On numerous occasions, the wind eased enough for us to think that perhaps we can jump back on the oars and go again. This “false lull” would last 15 minutes before the wind reverted to a strong head wind and so we would find ourselves back on anchor. After a few false starts, we were wise to the trickery of the wind and so we just stayed put. Finally yesterday, we got a lull that was real and so we got going again. Although at times, we had a challenging cross wind which negatively impacted our speed, at least we were able to make progress and this is what we’ve been focusing on.

Just before we managed to get going, we spotted a sail boat on the horizon which was the first we have seen so far. They must have spotted us too as they came up next to us for a brief chat. The Swedish boat was about 40ft long and the crew (two of whom were on deck) were on the way to Greenland. They reckoned they will reach Cambridge Bay within 4 days – it could take us 4 weeks !!

We are now getting a few hours of darkness during the nights. It’s not total darkness just yet (my guess is we will have that within the next 2 weeks or so). Denis and I were on the oars around 3am when all of a sudden we spotted some lights on the horizon. They were the navigation lights of a boat but then we realized there were multiple boats. We first thought 2, then revised our guess to 3 before thinking there were possibly up to 5 and they were moving very fast towards us. It was actually a bit freaky, like we were being chased by Aliens or something. We briefly wondered if this was the Canadian Coast Guard and if so why were they flying towards us at such frantic speeds.

As they got near, we realized they weren’t boats at all but four high powered jet skies and an even higher powered support boat. We chatted with them for a few minutes. They has started in Seattle and were on the way through the passage and then across the Atlantic to London. They were planning to go around the entire world but London was as far as they were going this year. After a few minutes of chat, they took off into the night. We reckoned they were comfortably doing anywhere between 50 and 70km an hour. At that exact point we were struggling with the conditions and were doing about 1.5 km an hour – I’d be lying if I said we weren’t a little jealous……..

~Paul