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August 3 2005

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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” (Arctic Wandering.com) who is attempting to circumnavigating 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