(Blog Post via Sat Phone)
Our adventures in the Arctic continue as we work our way southwards through Peel Sound.
For the first time in weeks, we have seen stars in the night sky. Yesterday, it seemed prudent for the first time on the trip to try fix the electrical switch that would allow us to turn on lights in the saloon.
Numerous mirages have presented themselves to us. It is weird to see an island floating in the sky.
We have been fortunate enough to see a Muskox (think woollie mammoth!) walk within 20m of us during a hike on shore. We have also seen lots of seals, and watching them drift by while they are lying on top of ice flows is pretty cool. Sadly, no polar bears yet.
The ice concentration has picked up. While at anchor, we have been able to jump onto ice drifting past the yacht with the tide. This is of course great fun, but the ice can be rather thin, especially around the edges, and it is obviously very cold and wet if you break through (this has happened)
We sat out gale force winds at an anchorage, which soon became a whole lot more involved than expected. During the gale, a neighboring yacht lost their anchor, and then damaged their drive shaft while searching for the anchor and 100m of chain. We helped out as best we could. In the end, after surveying a huge portion of the bay’s floor by dragging a GoPro camera under a dingy, the anchor and chain are still unrecovered. The drive shaft has been repaired to a good enough state to allow all to proceed.
The gale force winds did however clear a lot of ice from the channels ahead of us, so we are grateful for that.