It’s 8.15am, morning of day 65, we leave camp. Full main sail but small foc.
Seb goes “Against the wind today!”. Face masks are bound to be used… Off we sail, 30 degrees from an unstable wind and a short swell breaking our speed. It’s tough to steer in these conditions.
Ahead of us, lots of open water and we have to find some ice to camp by the end of the day as the forecast predicts some stronger winds. We’ll have to wait. Better finding a good spot…
Day 65 in a life of an Arctic Explorer looks like this: 1,5 hour steering, 3 hours in the sleeping bag warming our feet. 1,5 hour steering, 3 hours in the sleeping bag warming our feet. And so on… Plus preparing breakfasts and lunches, and boiling some water. From time to time, we take a reef in the main and free it when the wind goes down. The three of us rotate, like robots. We nearly do not encounter any ice. From 6pm to 7.30pm, I am on watch. I have a little bit of ice forming on my dry suit. It feels cold today. Seb declares “ Any ice, Vincent?” I reply “No! It might be a long and cold “night” sailing”. The boat starts to become seriously slippery. “Oh! I think I just saw a patch of ice through the fog”. “Yes!” Fortunately, a small but good enough patch is in front of us.
It’s 8 pm. The boat is at camp. Eric goes “Time for some ham!! And some pastas!”
Day 66. Let’s hope our patch won’t get destroyed. We are on stand by and probably for several days.. Too much open water around us, the wind is too strong and the short period swell is building up. There is about 40nm until the ice edge so we must cross that stretch with good sea conditions.
Will keep you guys posted!