Wednesday, 20 August 2008

7340 7626 Reflections....

from an Old Fart on an Old Barge out in the Baffin Boonies:
The NW Passage knows neither victory nor defeat - it just exists, grimly and sometimes terrifyingly indifferent to our presence, just like the Southern Ocean was. We have been profoundly, astonishingly lucky and the best we can say is that we have negotiated out way through. We made some really good calls on the way - but each could have been disastrous had we been wrong. We could not have got through a day earlier and now we have a bit of time to get down to Cape Farvel and across the Atlantic to Falmouth. Still a very difficult ask and there are already gale warnings here and storm warnings further south. If we stay lucky, then about 4 weeks and I'm going to sweat every minute of each day.

Icebergs - blue, black in silhouette, square ones, shapes you can Rorschach into anything you like, little treelike ones, huge rockpile ones, slabby ones and all dangerous. We do not need fog....

Wonderful sunrises, sometimes with huge bergs in glorious orange silhouette. I can just see the moon through the misty cloud - a bit like The Knight, alone and palely loitering.

Talking of oranges, we now have 2 dry suited Bananas in the crew. B1 and B2. I've put away - for the moment - the orange survival suit, so I'm Polly-chrome. P1.

What Kimbra didn't say - glaciers - from the remains, all of them once must once have reached the sea. Now most of them end a long way back up the slope, some several miles back. Bad news for the world.

These will be short from here - must go back on deck. Not very pleasant out here in the B Boonies just now. Arctic circle here we come - I hope. Keep em crossed.

PS who was Wollaston? Cape Horn is on the southernmost of the Wollaston Islands and there are three tiny Wollaston Islands at the N entrance to Navy Board Inlet west of Bylot. S/he's got territory at opposite ends of the continent.

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