Captains Log 08/20/2014 Farewell Gjoa Haven and friends.

08/19/2014 1746 hrs.

Well the gales subsided enough to row into town. But the only rowing needed was to slow us as we beached. Our anchor held strong, but the nights are getting darker and the ice was gnawing at my gut.

So I was pleasantly surprised to view the Ice chart today! That warm howling wind shook things up all right. And from the looks of it, we should be underway by Thursday.

In the mean time we will enjoy the company of our new friends, and hope for a lull so I can do that dive safely.

0820/2014 1826 hrs.

Last night was fantastic. The weather clamed down and we had a great night’s sleep, after visiting for the evening with the Coote family. We watched a movie on the laptop, fireside, not bouncing up for anchor watch as we had been these past days.

The Coote family aboard Empiricus
The Coote family aboard Empiricus

This morning some friends od Samantha’s dropped us off a bag of fruit and chocolate at the airport. So our morning was planned.

I donned the dive gear and descended into the icy cold arctic waters. In search of treasures from the past.

Giving the "IM OK" to Samantha before descending.
Giving the “IM OK” to Samantha before descending.

The vis was very poor due to the south wind. But exploring the seabed was fantastic none the less. There was an amazing amount of growth. I would estimate over 60% of the seabed was covered in lush life, with many tiny jellies, pulsing about me. I shot some go pro footage of the dive, but will not have time to process the footage before we go. So I will post about that dive at the end of our voyage.

Samantha followed my bubbles to shore. Then walked to the airport for our fruit. What a treat!

Then this afternoon Samantha and I spent gathering firewood and water.

Tonight we again enjoy dinner with the lovely Coote family. Then depart in the morning.

The ice is letting go. And from previous study I have learned. That Bellot Straight has a tendency to clog with free moving ice.

8/20 Ice.  We will be sailing north up the West Channel
8/20 Ice. We will be sailing north up the West Channel

So our tactic is, that even though our route is blocked. We will depart, sailing against the edge of the melting pack, slowly and reefed….

This will likely be our last opportunity to post before Greenland. In parting for now I will say.

Your life is a gift. Unwrap it. Use it. Wear it out. Soak it up. Your clock is ticking.

You can do anything you set your mind to.

Capt. Jesse Osborn
SV Empiricus


11 thoughts on “Captains Log 08/20/2014 Farewell Gjoa Haven and friends.

  1. You are departing way early… the ice charts lie… stay another week in Gjoa. You will still have plenty of time to gunk-hole enroute to Bellot Strait.

    1. Mr. Pohl, I appreciate your interest in our voyage. I must ask: When did you sail through the passage? Last year you sent us erroneous weather and ice information on our Delorme device, which we ignored, thankfully.

      If the ice charts lie, what is your source?

      There is no time for gunk-holing here. We sail slowly, nonstop, adjusting our speed for ice conditions.

      Offering advice without applicable experience can be dangerous.

      This place is inherently risky and your concern is appreciated. But giving orders from California will not gain you credibility.

      Coming here will.

      I hope to see the Grey Goose in the NW Passage soon.

      1. Thanks for your message – sorry to see you leave port so early 9/10 ice is a blockage – MANGO is also stopped by ice. Go ahead skipper – show us how to do it. Stay safe.

      2. Here is the position of MANGO N 71°36′ W 097°24′ – plot it on the ice chart – wishing you Good Luck filled with Adventure as Amundsen would say… lol Sorry to have interrupted your last evening in Gjoa. Sure would of liked to see you help Erken with a simple rocket heater. Bon voyage!

  2. Mango made a steady 6kts for 3 hours prior to the last position report which was made 4 hours ago so appears to be well past the earlier blockage which is now at least 10 miles behind them to the South. Mango however was/is in seas surrounded by 500M to 2000M ice floes and has the strength of a French Naval tug and it is interesting following the blogs that even Boats like Novara are intimidated by 3/10 ice which from the comfort of my arm chair seems easily passable. Waiting rather than continuously proceeding might be a good idea indeed! Mother nature is your captain now!

    1. By the way SV Catryns blog was claiming via Lancaster Sound two days ago that not even the icebreakers have been able to get thru the NWP this year. Terry Fox appears to be the only icebreaker in the area and it is not ‘helicopter capable’

  3. We met at the jetty in Cambridge Bay last summer where I was sailing with the catamaran Libellule going west and I am following your blog with great interest. You are such a nice writer. Wish you and Samantha good luck on your Amundssen backwards track. If you get to Pond Inlet say hello to Philippa Ottawak at the library. She was the first person we met when entering Canada in our 31 foot sv Dax, coming from Greenland last year.
    Take care!

    1. I agree Richard. But no California power boater can ruin a trip so wonderful!

      We are really enjoying our tike and the people up here. Im in no hurry to leave!

      Do you have plans to explore the North again?

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