Sunday, 24 August 2008

K: The Bet

I have to concede, I think I'm about to lose a bet with Corrie. A few days ago, when we turned out of Lancaster Sound into the Baffin, we had a bet on how long it would take for the water temperature to be consistently higher than 5 deg C. Just one of those things you do at 5 am to break an imponderably long journey up into comprehensible chunks. At the time the water was an icy 2 deg C.

For a while it looked like I was in with a chance. As we headed down the coast of Baffin Island, the water reached a balmy 5.6 deg C on occasions. But now we've left the coast and headed out into the depths the temp has plummeted again. It's hovering around 4 deg C and my time limit's up at midnight tonight, so it's not looking good for me.

If I had done my homework before making the bet (or checked the homework that I did before leaving home), I would have seen that the mean sea temp for August doesn't reach 5 deg C until about lat 63 N, or even further south still around the coast of Greenland. As we're just crossing 70N now, there's a while to go yet! On the positive side, there are no icebergs visible up ahead at the mo, so maybe the water will get warm again really fast.

There's a word for people who are obsessed by the wind. I can't remember what it it, but it has a lot more syllables than "sailor". I wonder if there's a similar word for people who are obsessed by sea surface temperature, apart from maybe "nerd" or "those with very cold toes"???


PS: C saw another 3 polar bears swimming a couple of hours ago. These ones were about 50 miles offshore - looked like a mother and two 2nd year cubs perhaps. Good luck bears - hope you make it home safely.

PPS: Amadino also made it through the NWP safely. They're now nearing the coast of Greenland, a lot further north than us.

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