The dinner was a lot of fun, it’s always enjoyable to hear people’s background and tales of the sea. But the good feeling didn’t last long. As we were cleaning up, Petter lets out that he’s leaving tomorrow to get back to his girlfriend in Oslo due to personal reason. Boom, just like that. Tomorrow, seriously?? How can we possibly find another crew member with that time frame? We always thought we could rely on Petter and that if he had committed to the entire trip all the way to Alaska, we could trust that he would do just that. We are very disappointed, somewhat betrayed even. What a letdown. Calin particularly valued his friendship with him and we would have never thought he would leave us in the deep end like this. With little explanation, his decision is irreversible, and no attempt to reach a compromise or leave at a later stage is made. We wondered if we should abandon the project. After going through ice in Svalbard, we always said that we need at least another crew member, if not 2 for the NWP. That it wouldn’t be safe to do it just the 2 of us. It is not just going through the ice, it is also the long passage through the possibly treacherous Berring Sea. But the thought of quitting went as quickly as it came. We have invested way too much time, money and energy to make this dream come true, abandoning is not an option. Whatever it takes, we will attempt. It’ll be more perilous and certainly more exhausting but I comfort myself in remembering that others are also doing it undercrewed and some have even done it single handed.
We make a pitstop in Uppernavik for refuelling and provisioning and by early afternoon, we are ready to go. The goodbyes are somewhat awkward, the friendship damaged if not broken. With a mix feeling of disappointment and excitement of the challenges ahead, we cast the lines feeling stronger and more determined than ever. Team Seabelle is thinner but still thriving, Canada here we come! (But first, let's go through the ice west of Greenland in Baffin Bay!)