Parting Nome, an 800 mile run, Ice, wind, fog and a boat load of luck.

href=”https://empiricusembarks.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/dscf2223.jpg”>After final preparation, we cast off from Nome.  we sailed hard, non stop to ward our Arctic fuel depot on the North Slope.  Over 850 Nautical Miles away. After final preparation, we cast off from Nome. we sailed hard, non stop to ward our Arctic fuel depot on the North Slope. Over 850 Nautical Miles away.[/caption]

But before we left, a crew change was completed. Steven said goodbye, as he and Bruce were loaded onto a plane.

Dropping Steven off at the airport in Nome.  It was sad to say goodbye, but he and Bruce have a little more room to roam now.  I miss you Stevo!
Dropping Steven off at the airport in Nome. It was sad to say goodbye, but he and Bruce have a little more room to roam now. I miss you Stevo!

Another Father son greeting and parting took place, as my dad Art, visited from his interior mining claim. Dad stayed on the boat and left the next day, as we prepared for departure.

Well my dad made it in from his Nome mining claim and was able to stay on the boat with us overnight.  It was great to see him and share a little time in the midst of our big adventures!
Well my dad made it in from his Nome mining claim and was able to stay on the boat with us overnight. It was great to see him and share a little time in the midst of our big adventures!
One day after Stevo said bye to me, I said bye to my father.  We then parted ways.  He to the hills, and me to the sea.  VChasing our dreams in the Arctic.
One day after Stevo said bye to me, I said bye to my father. We then parted ways. He to the hills, and me to the sea. VChasing our dreams in the Arctic.

The crew of Empiricus has taken a major bight out of the Northwest Passage route. We departed Nome and sailed hard for the Icy North.

Here we are sailing wing and wing.  Gathering all the wind we can for the hard charge North.
Here we are sailing wing and wing. Gathering all the wind we can for the hard charge North.

Only one day of headwinds slowed our travel. So we took a rest, hove to on Kotzebue Sound, berfore powering up for the final push to the Ice.

Sailing nicely with a reef in.  A full main in the arctic is a rare thing to carry.  Cold wind is powerful.  We had plenty and of wind for the passage.  with only one day of contrary wind the entire trip.
Sailing nicely with a reef in. A full main in the arctic is a rare thing to carry. Cold wind is powerful. We had plenty and of wind for the passage. with only one day of contrary wind the entire trip.
DSCF2260

Jason takes the helm through some Ice just East of Point Barrow.

[caption id="attachment_1239" align="aligncenter" width="620"]Here we are approaching our first ice flows, East of Point Barrow.  The radar shows most of the ice, but not all.    The low lying ice, mixed in waves will sneak up quick.  Electronics help, but do not replace seamanship and good watch keeping. Here we are approaching our first ice flows, East of Point Barrow. The radar shows most of the ice, but not all. The low lying ice, mixed in waves will sneak up quick. Electronics help, but do not replace seamanship and good watch keeping.

Watch the radar, but don’t trust it!

And so it begins.  Shortly after this, the fog set in, with 30 knot southwest tail winds, driving us into the pack.  We were going to fast to sail and had to strike all sail down, so we could slowly motor through the pack.  ready to reverse and protect the rudder.  Even with no sail, and motoring slow for steerage, we made 5-6 knots all the way to prudhoe Bay.  Weaving ice flows in shallow water.
And so it begins. Shortly after this, the fog set in, with 30 knot southwest tail winds, driving us into the pack. We were going to fast to sail and had to strike all sail down, so we could slowly motor through the pack. ready to reverse and protect the rudder. Even with no sail, and motoring slow for steerage, we made 5-6 knots all the way to prudhoe Bay. Weaving ice flows in shallow water.

Ice like this, with a 30 knot tail wind and heavy fog is a game changer. We had to motor with no sail, just to slow down.

Last years Ice report

Here on the North slope we assessed last years ice, compared with this year. Our hopes of Northing Banks Island were smashed by these images. we have decided that this is not a good year for breaking records, and waiting for an opening in the far North would be fruitless.

Click this box for this years Ice report.

Here is the sat image. we are not sure how we made it through. But are grateful to have safely transited this section of the passage.

Todays sat image.  Talk about a narrow lead.  This years big ice has dictated a plan change.
Todays sat image. Talk about a narrow lead. This years big ice has dictated a plan change.
Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Parting Nome, an 800 mile run, Ice, wind, fog and a boat load of luck.

  1. Thanks for the update. We love hearing of your progress. It’s a glorious summer in Kodiak. 60s and 70s. No wind, no rain. Gardens are spectacular. Firewood cut and drying in the sun. Dinner cruise number 50 under our belt tonight! Whew. No end in sight. Got lots of painting done on the deck rails and house plus the boat’s varnish is “Bristol!” All is well at the harbor but we miss you. Take care, M&M

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s