Having just crossed the Arctic Circle, this time from the North to South and on the other side of the continent, is an exhilarating feeling. According to the definition of the Northwest Passage we have just completed our passage through the Arctic achieving the most Northern Northwest Passage ever accomplished by a sailboat!
We had left Resolute nearly twenty days ago and spent half that time picking through the ice of Viscount Melville Sound and M’Clure to achieve our dream of crossing through the strait and then the second half taking on the rough waters of the Beaufort and Chuckchi Sea to finally reach the Bearing Sea and complete our passage. While it has been an exhilarating few weeks of accomplishments our attention now goes to the Bearing Strait a legendary and bizarre place, both geographically and geopolitically.
Two massive Oceans cram into a little passage between Russia and the United states not even 40 miles wide and only 40 to 50 meters deep. A place we can imagine that would be quite challenging in any sort of weather, but we have been blessed with calm winds and flat waters. Last night after being hailed by the United States Coast Guard Ship Bertholf, and congratulated on our successful passage, for the first time the clouds dispersed and revealed the stars and the dancing Northern lights adding to the allure of this expanse of water.
While filled with excitement at realizing a two year dream our thoughts have also been slowly wondering to Nome Alaska where we will arrive in about 36 hours. After an extended period in the high Arctic where fresh vegetables, fruits and a cold beer were either next to impossible to find, too expensive or illegal we have an insatiable craving for all that we intend to satisfy. After making repairs, re-provisioning and catching up on sleep we will set sail for the Aleutians and then part of the Northern Pacific to reach the inside passage along Canada’s West coast.
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