A sting in the tail

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Yesterday morning we passed Point Barrow, the Northern-most point of Alaska. By some definitions, it marks the end of the North-West Passage and in this case it provided a good excuse for celebrations aboard the fair S/V Dodo’s Delight.

Of course the gods of the Arctic ocean don’t give up too easily. Although after a week the passage from Tuktoyaktuk to Nome is well underway, we’ve encountered several days of strong headwinds, rough seas and generally uncomfortable sailing. On a good day we can make 120 Nautical miles and more, but on bad days we’ve recorded less than a quarter of that. Yuk! Right now we’ve just survived a night running on bare poles (no sails) with a 40 knot wind pushing us along at 6 knots. Everything is wet!

For the time being we’re affected by a strong low pressure that is predicted to continue giving us 30-40 knot winds from astern, and we’re holding thumbs, stroking rabbits feet and donning lucky underwear to ensure that it won’t shift in front of us.

The nights are getting longer, and this week we were lucky to get a patch of clear sky where we could see the famous Aurora Borealis – some might say a ‘high light’ of the trip. It looked a bit like the Milky way, although tinged green and slowly undulating. Combined with the luminescent jellys in the water, it was quite an ethereal moment.

Wish us luck!


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