We’ve had mixed weather over the last few days. We made great progress from Sunday morning through to Monday evening. The temperatures dropped off a bit – probably a few degrees below freezing.
While rowing on Sunday morning, I had 4 layers of upper body clothing on inside my dry suit, 3 layers of leggings, 2 pairs of socks, a pair of gloves with an extra inside liner, 2 hats and a pair of wellington boots. Despite all this gear and the fact that I was rowing, it was still a bit nippy although it did warm up into the afternoon (so I took one of the hats off).
On Sunday night we got our first glimpse of the Northern Lights which were absolutely magical. This was something we all hoped we would see up here so to finally get to experience these while out on the boat was amazing. The lights were like a cross between mad shaped animals and green mime artists dashing about the clouds in random directions. My words just can’t do justice to what we saw but needless to say it was very cool and for me was something I’ve always wanted to see firsthand.
Our last major crossing was Wellington Bay, we completed this 35km crossing on Monday afternoon so we are now well and truly into the home stretch. We got hit by some stiff headwinds just as we finished the bay crossing so we spent all night Monday and most of Tuesday on anchor.
We’ve had some problems with our water maker over the past week or two and now it’s not working. Well it’s still running but producing top notch salt water so a very important piece of equipment is done. I think the bashing of the boat while anchored during the stormy weather has in some way damaged the actual desalination unit. We had a look at it today, the filter system is fine but the reverse osmosis unit (which is the part that takes the salt out of the water) is not working as it should. Having salt water with meals and drinking salty coffee isn’t much craic so we went ashore, found some fresh water and filled up both tanks on board which gives us 80 litres. That should be more than enough to get us over the line. If we need to, we can go ashore again to find more fresh water.
We also had a visit on Tuesday evening from two locals (who had stopped by on Monday as they were heading out to a hunting camp – namely Arctic Char and Caribou. They very kindly offered us some Arctic Char fillets and we happily accepted. Frank fried them up straight away with a little oil and some lemon pepper. It was absolutely delicious, possibly the nicest fish I have ever eaten. We could nearly feel the energy seeping back into our bodies. This was the first time we have eaten something fresh in a long time. Even Denis who doesn’t eat a lot of fish was beside himself with how good it tasted.
The wind eased off around 8pm on Tuesday evening so we got going again. It’s now 12.30am on Wednesday morning as I type this and we’re making really good progress. Cambridge Bay is getting very close and we’re all very excited……