The wind finally eased enough to make a move from our haven of the last 3 days. It’s still blowing at 15KNs but we hope this to be a reasonable test to the capabilities of the Arctic Joule. We head out from behind the shelter of our pingo lee and the seas immediately start pushing us heavily back to shore. We struggle to keep the boat at 45 degrees to the wind, side slipping, or ferrying, for the next hour and a half.

It’s brutal going with little headway so we return to shore and begin hauling the boat along the beach. The waves are crashing fully on the beam of the Arctic Joule and it takes all four of us to manhandle the behemoth through breaking surf.

Another hour of work has us round a point where the seas lessen and allow us to row again. It’s perfect timing as rocks have begun to appear in the surf and the Arctic Joule is running up hard against them. The water is still steep and challenging but, in comparison to earlier, is manageable.

Finally the homes that we’ve been seeing in the distance for days are in the foreground. We slip into the lee in a small bay at the south end of town and moor on a rocky beach.

Within minutes an RCMP truck races down to meet, both officers displaying a degree of alarm. Evidently a resident saw us coming in, rowing what looked to be a disabled boat, and assumed we’d lost a motor and were in distress. It’s 10:00 p.m. Thursday night and we’ve finally made it to Tuktoyaktuk.