Got to Tuk Aug 6 at 21:30. Will wait for
freight from home and then probably leave Tuesday. We had more
ice coming back from Barrow than when we went plus very dense
fog much of the time. We had met Gary from "Arctic Wanderer" in
Barrow and caught up to him at Challenge Entrance near Flaxman
Is. He had been grounded a bit near where we had come close to
being grounded on our way west. The chart is out about 0.6
miles. We found out later that 0.6 miles may be in any
direction and maybe more error than .6 miles. Gary had gotten
off and then anchored when we came along. We called him on the
radio and he said he would follow us if we were going to
continue. This was the tightest ice (7 to 8 tenths) that we
successfully went through and we throttled back and bumped
often. Gary is a capable, experienced guy with a steel
boat. His problem is being alone he has to stop to rest and
when ice is bad, fog or no fog its nice to have an extra set of
eyes. He doesn't go as fast as us so when we got through the
worst he said don't wait for him. We continued on and planned
to see him in Kaktovik but we went ashore walked about took
pictures and had dinghy loaded and gone and he was still 5 miles
back so hope to meet him again in Tuk.
We got on the outside (deep water side
about 75 to 110 feet) of continuous ice in the fog 8 hours after
Herschel Is. That was disconcerting in dense fog for 6 hours.
We weren’t sure if going north and east would get us through
but it eventually did. In fog or dark it’s a concern you can
get trapped. We were fortunate that the wind was only 10 to 15
kts and we persevered.
We are on our projected schedule and are
reasonably confident that the ice in the eastern Arctic will
continue to improve.
A lot of ice yet in the east but breaking
fast so hope to be in Cambridge by Aug 15 if all goes well.
Wind 30 kts from NW this morning so we'll
be here until that subsides.
very good general site about Barrow
Wikipedia – Bering Strait
reference info about Bering strait
Wanderer Gary Ramos’ site
We only went past but I found one person’s
Prudhoe Bay life.
Smithsonian – sea mammals
August 3, 2005
We had a brief stop in
Barrow just long enough to get our e-mail, a few parts and bump
into a fellow boater during supper. It was great timing that we
met some marine researchers both based locally and from other
areas including some women from a Swedish research team that
will be getting on the Swedish ice breaker when it arrives. We
also met Gary Ramos of the boat “Arctic Wanderer” who is
attempting to circumnavigate the North Pole.
We continued south west
to Bearing Strait, where we effectively start our round the
world trip. Going there now will save us coming up through ice
to do it next year. Saw many whales in the Chukchi Sea. Fog is
a constant companion although it did lift enough for us to see
Asia and Alaska at the same time and to get some good pictures
of the Diomede Islands on both sides of the Russia US border. A
lot of Russian chatter on channel 16, but no English and as
usual up north it is often difficult to get weather information.
We were a long stones throw (7.5 km) from
the Russian Island of Big Diomede. It has been foggy most of the
time since Barrow so were lucky it lifted in the Strait to give
us some pictures.
We have crossed the Arctic Circle twice on
July 31 first at 2:00 AM then again coming back at 7:40 PM for
the third time in 24 days. We had no sunset from July 7 to July
29 when we were heading south of Barrow. Barrow will have their
first sunset in a while on Aug second which is 1 day before we
get there so we won't see 24 hour sunlight again on this trip.
We made the trip of 965
nm from Barrow to the Bering Strait and back in excellent time
of exactly 5 days with favorable conditions. Went past
Barrow last night at 22:30 but after turning the corner and
heading east 5 miles our motor stopped and we changed fuel
filter but then it didn't start so we anchored in 25' water and
1kt current. One person stay on watch because plenty of ice
moving. In the morning we phoned the supplier in Vancouver and
repaired our problem.
The latest ice reports say the ice isn't as
good as we had hoped from here to Tuk so we are taking time to
stop again at Barrow and send emails.
All is well on board.
Ben, Brad & Kevin
Beaufort Sea information