We left Tuktoyuktuk in heavy East weather.
The tempuratures dropped rapidly and it was hard work making ground to windward.
we spent about 12 hours at Cape Bathurst, before catching favorable winds East. Then sail we did, all the way to Johansen Bay.
Now in the peppered Islands of Coronation Gulf, a heavy Gale from the west set in. The choices at hand were grim.
1. Sail the Gale and possibly make an exit on the East end of the passage.
2. Stop and take refuge, possibly delaying or stopping our transit of the passage this year.
I chose to take refuge in Johansen Bay. 40 knot winds, heavy fog and poorly charted waters are an unacceptable combination of obsticles, when one has an alternate choice.
We located a commercial mooring in Johansen bay and secured to it.
We have video footage of our 3 day stay there. I had never surfed 3-6 foot seas at anchor before. we rode the mooring with constant chafe issues, shock load, and yaw problems the whole time, while motoring against the wind. it was the safest option, but far less than restful.
I tried killing some time as the Gale began to subside by building a “Hamdolin”. My own musical creation. It was fun and helped my mind rest.
Once the gale broke, we sailed hard for Cambridge Bay.
while in transit, my mind began to add up the docket of challenges ahead, and resourses remaining. In a nutchell, these were my major conserns.
1. Isaac needed to return to School and homeschool underway was not an option at the time.
2. Will needed to return home to his family (More important than sailing)
3. The ice was still very thick on the East end.
4. Early freezup was predicted, 2 weeks ahead of recent history.
5. Our rudderpost seal was leaking in heavy weather (20 gallons per hour at times) wich required nearly constant pumping.
I knew that if we continued on, and were blocked by ice, we would be forced to return to Cambridge bay, with a skeleton crew to haul out.
If beset in the ice, or forced to stay in another community freezing in was the backup plan, but I cannot legally work in Canada. Nor can I afford to go jobless this winter.
I plan on writing an article on this decision as it was complex. But aside from the details, I decided to end our transit for 2013 in Cambridge Bay. It was time to slow down. Connect with the people of the Arctic and enjoy what we worked so hard and sailed so long to see.
It was time to remember our ever living motto “Enjoy the process”
We sailed into Cambridge Bay on the 25th of August. Will and Dan both departed within 24 hours.
While Isaac, Jason and I remained to haul the boat.
We had many adventures in Cambridge Bay, which I will share in an upcoming post!
Here is a news link regarding the Arctic this year. What an amazing time. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/story/2013/09/03/north-barge-delays.html