Update 00.25: Present position
Positional update 04.00: We’re headed toward Novaya Zemlya and passage to the Kara Sea.
Updated position 15.00: About 60 nautical miles southwest of Novaya Zemlya, making steady progress.
(Ed.: These photos were taken earlier, in much calmer weather!
In tight quarters, there is no need to get out of the sleeping bag to boil water for coffee after some shut-eye.
Expedition report 17.30:
A low-pressure zone just to the north of us made this morning rather challenging. Strong winds colliding with powerful currents whipped up big waves. We had to don our survival suits and steer by hand – moment by moment, from wave to wave. As the waves broke against our boat, there was soon seawater everywhere in the cockpit. It was especially rough for those who were off-shift and trying to catch a nap below! And no one even dared think of going into the foc’sle in the bow of the boat. Free fall!
Once again our trimaran proved sturdy and stable, enduring the weather without complaint – and our survival suits were perfect for these conditions. Even so, we could really feel the presence of the dense Arctic fog and the cold seas (temperature: 3˚C) surrounding us.
Due to the unfavourable wind direction these last three days, mainly from east-southeast – a headwind, since that is the direction in which we are trying to sail – we now need to chart a more southerly course to find the passage between Novaya Zemlya and the mainland, from the Pechora Sea in the west to the Kara Sea in the east. Actually we have a choice of two passages; nearest is Kara Strait, and further south is Yugorsky Strait (Yugorsky Shar). Sadly the Kara Strait is currently closed by ice, but Yugorsky Shar remains open – and that is where we are now heading. We expect to reach that passage in about 30 or 40 hours.
It is now Saturday evening on board the SS “Northern Passage”. Our sailing rhythm, with rotating shifts at the helm, is now firmly established. Settling into a good routine is crucial for a demanding expedition such as this. Those of us who are not on watch in the cockpit, or trying to catch up on sleep after a demanding day, will now have dinner.
… perhaps a tasty chili con carne!
Updated position 22.37: Sailing east-southeast toward the passage.View 4 comments