09 August 2023 – through the ice and half way to Canada!

Although the shock of Petter leaving so suddenly is still fresh, we are feeling good today. Leaving Uppernavik, we mentally prepared ourselves for the challenge ahead: a large band of sea ice in the middle of Baffin Bay that been drifting from the North at various density - from 7/10 to the south to 1/10 to the north. We first headed north of Uppernavik in the hope to find the first available gap, hopefully at no more than 3/10 density. We were lucky to have the reports of S/Y Caprivi and S/Y Sentijn with the location where they went through 2 days before and the ice charts and NASA satellite image were also very helpful. We’ve been motoring on and off and quite foggy. A fog bow, a interesting formation when, similar to a rainbow, an colorful arc forms above fog, remained persistant for many hours.

This morning at 07.00am, I wake up Calin to take the sails down. Ahead of us, lies a bed of sea ice. The fog just lifted and a beautiful rainbow appears. It is eery and magical. The wind has died and the sea is calm. First the sea ice arrives in the form of scatterred large floes. But as we proceed on through, the space between the floes lessens more and more. Just about where we had marked the gap seen on the satellite image 2 days ago, we see a gap. From the sea level, it is hard to tell despite excellent visibility. The narrow passageway is not much wider than the beam of Seabellehe but with slow and cautious speed, Calin steers us around tfloes skillfully and calmly. Although the ice is getting thicker and thicker, we can just about weave our way through without the use of ice poles that I have ready on the foredeck in case I need to push ice. The sight is mesmerizing as ice surrounds us at what we estimate 6/10. Just as we think we’ve gone through and the worst is over, the fog comes back down and so does the ice. Luckily, it’s a little more spread out now and although a little hairy with the poor visibility, we come out on the western side without any new dent in the hull. That was a big hurdle and we’re stoked to be through successfully. 3 days to Canada!


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