Sunday, 3 August 2008

K: Bare Feet

About 24 hrs after arriving in Tuk yesterday, we headed off again on our way to Cambridge Bay. For such a short stop-over, we got a surprisingly large number of things done from our to do list (including a wonderful hot shower!).

Not really a lot to say about Tuktoyuktuk, except that it has a wonderfully alliterative name. The town (settlement?) isn't really set-up for visitors, but thanks to the wonderful hospitality of the barge operators from the NTCL freighting company, we managed the essentials - said showers, a lift into town to fill fuel cans, fresh water, laundry and a quick check of the email and ice reports. Oh - and pingos! I like pingos! Pingos are frost blisters in the land. As I understand it, water seeps in between the surface gravels, freezes and heaves the surface up a bit. Over a number of years this results in rounded domes several meters high rising from the otherwise flat tundra. Cool.

This morning Juan (Jr) from Amadino tried out his new diving dry suit and adjusted the pitch on Berri's prop. As a result, we're hooning along a lot more efficiently now. Which is lucky as there has been absolutely no wind whatsoever for most of the day. In fact, it's been so toasty warm that we've had to shed layers and I've been traipsing around the boat in bare feet. In the Arctic - would you believe it?? The water temperature has also been surprisingly warm - 8 deg C in the harbour when Juan went for his dip, and up to 15 deg C on the way out past Tuktoyaktuk Peninsula past some shallow shoals. Very unexpected.

The weather forecast is looking good for the next couple of days - very light headwinds to start, then going around to the west for a nice downhill run (hopefully not quite so exciting as the last one, but I've been tinkering with our companionway splash guard to make it more water-tight, just in case). Ice forecast in "the straits" up ahead also promising (less than 1/10 cover to Cambridge), so all going we're aiming to be in Cambridge Bay in 7-8 days. Very exciting!

There have been some wonderful mirages up here in the still weather today. We were able to see a couple of barges when they were well below the horizon - over 20 NM away according to the AIS.

OK, enough ranting from me. Alex has a radio sked with Peter in Cambridge Bay, and I'm going to mosey on into the galley and whip up some butter chicken and rice for dinner (followed by macadamia and white chocolate tarts).

Bye for now!


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