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Eshamy's Northern Passage
We Arrived
08/19/2011, Cambridge Bay

Coming into Cambridge Bay around 8:00am (local time) on Friday in the sunshine!

The Strait..
08/18/2011, Queen Maud Gulf

On Wednesday morning we were sailing down the eastern side of Victoria Strait when we got a text from Philip (thanks!) letting us know according to the ice chart there was 7/10 ice directly across our planned route. After much agony trying to get and stay online with the sat phone we managed to receive an email of the ice chart. We debated what to do but thought we'd have a look since we'd come this far and an easterly wind was blowing, which was also forecast for the next day or so. About this time we began to see some ice about and changed our course more to the south. We then altered our course to the south east heading towards Alexandra Strait, keeping an eye on the depth as it's not well charted in this area. After a while like this we spotted the Royal Geographical Society Islands and couldn't see much ice between us and them so altered course for south straight down the middle of Alexandra Strait. The wind, sea and cloud cover had increased by then too so it was quite an exciting afternoon. Not sure where the 7/10 ice had gone but was very glad we didn't encounter it! We were through Alexandra Strait by about dark and we've been following the recommended track on the chart since. This has taken us along the Requisite Channel between the Nordenskiolds Islands and Hat Island, and south of Jenny Lind Island heading west to Cambridge Bay. It's been windy, raining and the sea has been quite lumpy but we've had some good sailing conditions and haven't seen any ice since Victoria Strait. We hope to be in Cambridge Bay within 12 hours or so, hopefully we won't see any ice before then. It's been a very dark night and although it's now getting light the fog has descended!

Catch up..Peel Sound to Victoria Strait

It's been a busy few days so haven't had a chance to write much but here is what's been happening...On Tuesday morning we entered Franklin Strait from Peel Sound and saw a motor yacht called 'Indigo' on the AIS near the Tasmania Islands. We had a chat with them about the ice conditions and weather, they were rather enjoying the light winds unlike us sailing boats! The wind was very light on Tuesday so I ended up baking some carrot cake muffins which actually turned out ok given I had to guess the measurements and the oven temperature (and I haven't baked anything in years!). That evening we were called up (along with 2 other yachts) by the Canadian patrol plane which then flew very low directly above us. We spotted one of the yachts they'd spoken to and found out they'd come from Cambridge Bay to the east of King William Island, through Simpson and James Ross Straits, and were headed north. Tuesday turned into a bit of a baking day and I made some bread later in the evening as we were almost out of our supply from Upernavik. Wednesday morning brought sunshine and wind which made for a great mornings sail along the west coast of King William Island. We'd decided to brave Victoria Strait since we'd had reports it was relatively open water along the east of the Strait. Had a sad moment that morning though, I was putting a reef in the main when my favourite and only hat went overboard. It flew off and I went to grab it but I was tethered on and missed it..was so disappointing to watch it floating in our wake. But I must say I am very glad I was not attached to it!! Will continue the Wednesday afternoon Victoria Strait adventure in the next blog..we're sailing great at the moment, heading just north of west at 5 knots with the wind 40° off the stern and it doesn't even feel like we are moving it is so calm below deck.

08/22/2011 | tini
Never seen the galley look so tidy;you have space! around the results of your baking session.Jeffrey is so lucky with crew this time.Keep on with blog--much appreciated and am following closely with Phillip's help
An Iceberg in the Fog

One of the many icebergs we've seen!

From Lancaster Sound to Peel Sound
08/15/2011, Peel Sound

The past few days have been rather grey and foggy so we haven't seen very much! We've continued along Lancaster Sound (dodging a few icebergs still) and into Barrow Strait passing the bird sanctuary Prince Leopold Island which we didn't see due to fog. This morning we started heading south down Peel Sound with the sun shining and a steady breeze from the north northwest. Around noon, was out on deck changing sails when we looked north and saw fog rolling in..quite quickly too. The wind and sea picked up as well so we had an exciting afternoons sailing down Peel Sound in the fog. Was the strongest winds and biggest seas (which weren't really very big but compared to the flat seas we've experienced so far) we've had in weeks. It also got rather chilly, approximately 4°C on deck and 7°C below deck. So much for an afternoon relaxing in the sunshine and baking something tasty! Our dinners are probably getting less exciting, we started this passage with meals like prawns and fried rice, pasta with tomato and vegetable sauce, sweet and sour vegetables with rice but last night we progressed onto beans on toast. But beans on toast can still be a good meal occasionally! Might have to try and make something interesting tomorrow. It's quite dark and overcast tonight but the fog has lifted which is good. Just to note, we are heading due south at the moment but our compass is currently telling us we're going almost due north! We haven't seen anyone else since Issuma in Baffin Bay, but we heard a Canadian patrol plane speaking to a Russian vessel on the VHF earlier this evening. Thanks for the calls, messages and information too greatly appreciated :-)

Moon over Bylot Island

Moon over Bylot Island with and iceberg as well..

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Eshamy's Northern Passage
Who: Jeffrey Allison, Katherine Brownlie, Alex Taylor, James Allison, Paul Brossier, Martin Oakley, Chris Phillips, Tanya Hargreaves, Philip Schofield (Onshore Communications Officer)
Port: Hartlepool
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