23th August 2023 – Wednesday
We are currently motoring across Queen Maud Gulf, named after Amundsen’s boat built for the North East Passage. The light wind is typically coming straight out from our destination but the sea is calm so we are making about 4.5 kn. There are strong winds predicted later today or tomorrow so we are keen to get into shelter before they clobber us. It has been very sad to see so many dead birds floating on the water. We have probably seen more dead birds than alive ones. They look like ducks with a white underside and grey topsides. Avian flu?
We hope to get into Cambridge Bay in the early hours of Thursday morning. It gets dark up here now but I believe there are navigation lights to help us. The temperature seems to mostly hover around 3 C but it doesn’t feel very cold. On watch you sometimes need to do some gentle exercises to keep the circulation going. Down below is warm from the engine blowers and of course wooden boats are naturally well insulated. Hopefully I can find some WIFI in Cambridge Bay to post this.
Eventually the wind died completely and the sea became glassy smooth. It was perfect conditions for running out of fuel, which we did. All a bit of a mystery because we filled up in Gjoa Haven. Our suspicion is that the fuel filler hose was such a snug fit in the boats filler fitting that it blocked air allowing the two tanks to balance up, except slowly via the breather pipe. Of course we had some spare fuel so we poured that into the tanks and without even needing to bleed the system we were motoring again at 2,000 rpm. We expect to arrive in Cambridge Bay at 03:00 Thursday morning. Let’s see what happens.
24th August 2033 – Day 21
We arrived in the dark for a flying visit to refuel and get water and maybe some fresh food. We need to set off soon to get in a few more miles before strong headwinds are forecast. Must dash!