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Eshamy's Northern Passage
Voyage so far..

Thought we'd put up a short summary of our progress so far for those who've only recently started following our voyage on the blog. After departing the UK in late June we sailed to the Faroes, Iceland and then on to Nuuk in Greenland. We then sailed up the coast in early August to Upernavik via Sisimuit and Godhavn before crossing Baffin Bay into Lancaster Sound, Canada arriving in Cambridge Bay on the 19th August. We left Cambridge Bay heading west on the 21st August and didn't set foot on land until arriving in Hammerfest Norway on October 1st. This was our longest passage and took us 40 days, including 2 nights at anchor off Point Barrow, Alaska. We are currently in Bodo, Norway and hope to be back in the UK in the next week or two. A big thank you to all that have helped us along the way so far..more thanks to come when we finally arrive in England!

10/10/2011 | Douglas Pohl
Congratulations! Please post your entire Spot GPS data file so your East to West Clockwise POLAR CIRCUMNAVIGATION in one season accomplishment is supported.
God Speed,
Bodø Harbour
10/09/2011, Bodø, Norway

A view across the can make out Eshamy on the left behind the other boats.

Norway and Onwards
10/07/2011, Bodø, Norway

After first sighting land early on Saturday morning it took us a very long time to get up the fjord and into Hammerfest. With our diesel gone and variable winds (which eventually died) it was quite a struggle and we didn't get in until late evening. But how good it was to step ashore and walk on land! We'd missed the nice hot meal but had a beer to celebrate and finally got some sleep. The major highlight on Sunday was having a desperately needed long hot shower which was followed by good food then beer at the pub :-) So glad I'd saved some clean clothes for when we arrived on land. It was nice to see trees again (don't think we've seen any since Iceland!) which were looking very autumnal. On Monday it was time to depart and after doing some sail repairs, shopping (yes fresh food!) and topping up the diesel we were on our way to Tromsoe. Everyone we met in Hammerfest was kind and helpful, we were also given a delicious apple cake by one of the harbour staff. Thank you! The passage to Tromsoe was comparatively very short and it was such a change to be sailing in coastal waters and the fjords rather than open seas. Quite different to be seeing other boats about too as there wasn't much traffic between Cambridge Bay and here! We arrived in Tromsoe in the late afternoon on Tuesday and departed again on Wednesday afternoon for Bodø. The passage took us about 36 hours and the scenery was just spectacular! We made it in just before the wind picked very early on Friday morning and we're hoping we can get away again soon. This feels like the hardest part of the journey now, knowing we are so close but still so far away from finally making it back to the UK.

Trees in Hammerfest
10/03/2011, Norway

Trees again!

There is land..
10/01/2011, Near the Norwegian Coast

Well it was a long night Thursday trying to wait for the wind and keep the batteries charged, we found a little then it disappeared and we waited again. Saw two ships nearby (Silver Bergen and KV Svalbard) all lit up in the late evening which we think were large fishing boats. The night was overcast and so dark that the flashes of phosphorescence looked like numerous camera flashes, the paparazzi at a premier! Strong winds were forecast from the north for Friday and finally they came, starting off a steady breeze and increasing all afternoon. This was great as we needed some good winds to get us further south and away from 74° N which we seem to have been at forever! The sea picked up quite a lot too so we had a windy bumpy Friday but it eased later in the evening. The sky cleared for a while during the night and we saw faint auroras and the stars again. This morning has been lighter, with calm seas and variable winds which are currently blowing from the south. Was amazing to finally see land in the dawn light this morning and what is even better is that we're heading to it! Bath, clean clothes and a good night's sleep await us in Hammerfest, Norway and after 40 days at sea I think we've earned it :-)

10/05/2011 | Louise Allison
You certainly have earned it! Well done! xx
10/06/2011 | tini
Thrilled to see you leaving Hammerfest altho rain drops on the web camera didn't help then the camera stayed too long in that position and by the time it had swung around to the port exit you had been and gone--so frustrating Please locate if poss, web cams in Bergen and give us a wave--if you have time. Shops are great there K on the harbourside
We've seen the Light!
09/29/2011, Barents Sea

Well although the weather is grey and dreary I have to say the temperature is quite a lot warmer than we've experienced in a long time. Gone is the dry icy chill from the air and now it feels comparatively warm and damp. Funny to be saying it feels very warm when we're still at 74° N. According to the Eshamy thermometer the sea temperature is now approximately 8°C. I wish the clouds would disappear for a day and night though! We are now within the Norwegian 200 nm limit so to celebrate we had a feast of fried potatoes, boiled tinned vegetables and tinned salmon. This was followed by a shot of Russian vodka for something different, although alcohol seems to be dangerous at the moment with our current reduced tolerance! The wind wasn't very kind to us late Tuesday night, early Wednesday morning and we've been pushed further north again in our attempt to head west. It's a bit painful knowing we are so close to land yet so far..are we there yet? Wednesday didn't improve much and the afternoon was spent checking the batteries and fixing the furling line for the genoa which had gotten itself in a mess. The evening got better though. When I went on deck it was so dark that all I could see were the flashes of phosphorescence in the waves. After a while it seemed to get quite bright and I noticed the clouds had cleared and I could see some stars. At first I thought I was hallucinating from too long spent at sea or sleep deprivation but then I realised it was the auroras! What a was spectacular and I was treated to an impressive display and a sky full of stars (with the odd shooting star) for hours, interrupted only by the occasional patch of clouds. Out of habit I found myself looking for the Southern Cross amongst the stars then realised what I was doing..wrong hemisphere. I am very happy now I've seen the auroras (thanks for the info Dad)! It's currently Thursday afternoon and we're becalmed again so to boost crew morale we had pancakes and are now sitting here waiting for the wind. I think this is the calm before the storm as the saying goes. There are 50 or so fulmars surrounding the boat and it's so still that you can smell them!

10/01/2011 | Emily
Wow! What an amazing sight to see! Hopefully not too long before you set foot on land again. Keep warm & safe :)

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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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