Returning back to Resolute from the heart of Parry Channel to monitor ice and weather conditions for a better window to attempt McClure strait was a tough decision. However, after several days in Resolute experiencing the local culture, making necessary repairs and watching how the ice changed we were certain it was the right one.
For days a strong wind howled from the East shaking us up at anchor in Resolute bay but also shifting the ice to the West of us. After nearly a week we finally received the cloud free satellite image we hoped for and the weather report we wanted, so early Friday morning we lifted our anchors and set sail back into Parry Channel towards Banks Island and McClure strait.
While sea ice concentration in the Arctic is well below average what ice is sticking around tends to be heavy multiyear ice pushed into the newly opened waters from the northern polar ice cap. These large pieces of ice on their own are of little worry to navigation but when picked up by the currents and influenced by the winds they tend to congregate at certain key areas in the Arctic and create impassable clog points…one of these being McClure strait.
Reaching our staging point in Banks island from Resolute will be difficult as few have achieved this without ice breaking capacity. From there it will be a matter of waiting for favourable conditions to open the clog point before we attempt the passage.
At the moment we are back in Parry Channel amongst the ice close to the point where we turned around last time to head back to Resolute bringing back memories of the difficult decision we had to make. If we only knew the kindness of all the people in Resolute that received us in their homes and shared their way of life with us it would have been a simpler decision.
Thank you to all our friends in Resolute!.