(Update via Sat Phone)
Yeehah! Today we passed through the Beiring Straight, thus finishing the North West Passage (by all accounts). We’re holding off on celebrations though until we hit the port of Nome tonight (watch out Nome!) As a side note, the town of Nome received its name from a cartographer who miscopied the lable “Name?” that a previous map-maker had scrawled on an early chart..
The last 24 hours aboard Dodo’s Delight have been eventful. It started out with a resounding whack to the stern of the boat. Andrew, who was at the helm at the time got an unexpected splash over him, felt the whack to the boat, and looked out just in time to see a whale swimming away. Ouch, and sorry whale. Dodo’s Delight seems to have come through okay, allthough Bob did go out on deck to check the life raft.
Yesterday, after 84 days in the Arctic, we crossed southwards over the Arctic Circle line (66.6 degrees North). No palm trees or cocktail drinks yet though – instead we were greeted with strong tail winds, miserable rain and generally stormy weather. Yesterday the winds were strong enough to tear a giant hole in our main sail (about 2 metres across). Luckily, the rip was low down so the sail can still be used with two reefs. At one point the storm nearly pushed us all the way into tomorrow as we skirted the international date line that runs through the Beiring Strait.
Our #3 sail also jammed and was flapping around, so we removed it and stowed it in Dave’s cabin. Things are getting a little tight in there!
As mentioned, we are now on the final stretch and should make it into Nome tonight. (The final tin of rice pudding has been set as a prize for the person who correctly estimates our ETA) Here we will check into Alaska, and will attempt to winter Dodo’s Delight.