Below is my log for Aug 10th plus photos at bottom of our passage from Upernavik, Greenland to Arctic Bay.
Wind: West 20
Sky: Overcast with rain now. Full sun here in Arctic Bay most of day. Snow flurries predicted by morning.
Anchored Arctic Bay (at last).
Departed Cummings early morning of Aug 8. Wind calm, overcast. We were looking forward to a long, easy run to Arctic Bay for the fuel we need to move deeper into the Northwest Passage. Arctic Bay: a “hamlet” (official title) of some 600 residents, mostly Inuit; 120 miles south of Cummings Inlet and 60 miles up Admiralty Bay. All seemed well until we got to the mouth of Cummings, where, even from two miles away, we could see a long line of white at the horizon, pack ice. Pack covered the entrance, we learned on approach, and had even wrapped inside the point.
At thickest it was a quarter of a mile wide. We moved close to the ice edge on the western end and found 9/10ths ice with no tempting leads to speak of. A long low swell rode in from the SE, and the ice made crackling sounds as it ground together. Sizes ranged from irregular 50′ x 100′ sheets to odd smaller stuff the size of sheds, cars, suitcases.
Thought for a time we might not get through today. We cruised just inside the line all the way to the eastern headland, and there what had initially looked the thickest turned out to be 1 – 3/10ths ice. We wove our way out with only the gentlest kissing of the ice.
Learning from Les and Ali:
It took us two hours to get out.
After exit, we saw only random ice bits and none in Arctic Bay when we arrived 20 hours later. No wind until the last hour of our trip.
Temperatures during our ice excursion and in the whole of Lancaster Sound were our lowest yet. Sea temp went slowly from 2+C to its lowest at -.01C. It rose quickly near the south end side of Lancaster and is up to 2.5C now. Air temps were very low, down to 2C near the ice pack and in Lancaster. Both Les and I were bare handed during our ice escapade, and mine were on fire by the end.
Gear: I didn’t wear any more clothing than usual (“usual” equals about five warmth layers and a tough shell) but would have had to if we had wind. I wore my mittens once out in the channel, but without their exterior covering; better to fit in pockets. One improvement to them would be to get light fleece mitten inserts.
My only issue during the crossing and in general is fingertips and toes. Tried putting fleece gloves (rubber glove inserts) inside mittens, but mostly these kept cold fingers cold. Gloves I find are terrible for allowing warmth to grow and only work when the hands are very active or already warm.
Arrived Arctic Bay about 4am local time next day. Slept 3 more hours while waiting for town to wake.
Activity of the day has revolved around getting our fuel. We need full tanks to make our next leap. We took on 600 litres today for a total complement of just over 1000 litres. Figure about 1 litre a mile and Cambridge Bay, 720 miles, is well within reach.
Fueling is good exercise in Arctic Bay. No fuel dock; not even a pier. Les went ashore early to arrange for the fuel truck and was told the right man would not be around until 1pm. We brought all our jerry cans to shore by noon; checked in at 12:30 and by 1pm the fuel truck came to the beach, and the entire transaction was done there. Ali and I made one trip to the boat with six cans to fill the starboard tank (freezing weather; sharp wind off the beach with fog; our hands red and painful quickly). And the rest were then ferried to the boat in three trips. Lots of lifting and toting of 40lb fuel jugs. We’re all worn out but pleased to be prepared for next run.
Now we are, once again, waiting for ice to melt or move or otherwise dissipate.
Photos are recent voyaging: Across Baffin Bay to Canada, time in Dundas Harbor and Cummings Inlet; ice we encountered on departure from Cummings.