Wild Bunch arrive in Aasiaat …

Wild Bunch arrive in Aasiaat today! I have spent a month preparing the boat,and doing a small repair after a winter storm, ready for their coming. The aim is to go across to Baffin for some big walls but first we must wait for the ice in Baffin Bay to clear so we can get across. So some walls in Uummananq Fjord perhaps.

Just off to London for the Book Launch party of my book ‘Addicted to Adventure’. Should be fun.  The Wild Bunch meantime are driving 1000k to AaImagelborg Denmark to get the crate with food and their climbing gear shipped to Greenland for our forthcoming proposed expedition to Greenland and Baffin. 

Much looking forward to having them on the boat again

ARCTIC BIG WALL EXPEDITION 2014

London, Yachtsman of the Year Award 2014Winner Bob Shepton© Kathy Mansfield58

Yachtsman of the Year 2013 down in London in January. I was greatly honoured…

Then the Wild Bunch, that star team of Belgian/American climbers who did those magnificent big wall climbs in Greenland from the boat in 2010, are planning to come out again this year. We left the boat in Aasiaat on the west coast of Greenland after last summer; some warm up climbs in Greenland before going over to some stupendous big walls on the east coast of Baffin when the ice clears that side – which is usually later that side because of the Coriolus effect. I may have to go over to Paris and Brussels in April to help them with the singing at presentations of their latest big wall climbs, in China!

Oh by the way, my book ‘Addicted to Adventure’ is due to be published by Adlard Coles on May 8 this year. You can order your copy on Amazon already!

Leaving Prince Regent Inlet At Last !

Much relieved and thankful that we are out of Prince Regent Inlet at last. There were times when we were not sure we were going to make it. A tricky time In fact we are enjoying some down time in Arctic Bay off Admiralty Inlet now. Letting a gale pass in Lancaster Sound and restocking a little for the crossing to Greenland – hopefully. Gales forecast for Baffin Bay but at least they are in the right direction and we’ve gotta go, man. See you on the other side?

 All a bit fraught but we should be out soon

 

off for pot luck supper with our friends aboard Balthazar at Point Hope

Progress at last. A day or two after Balthazar left Point Hope to go south the northerlies at last relented and we are out at sea making for Point Barrow in the north as fast as possible – which means mainly on engine there being hardly any wind. As usual in the Arctic, there is either too much wind or too little.

But we are not complaining. Of course all is not settled yet, we are going up north to see whether the ice will let us through….hopefully we shall report back after we have collected more diesel at Barrow and got round the corner (if we get round the corner…)

Taking Shelter just North of the Bering Strait

Life is difficult at the moment! We have been stuck for over a week sheltering from strong northerly winds, anchored off the south shore of Point Hope north of the Bering Strait, unable to make progress north. Also the ice up north is not particularly good. And time marches on in the short arctic summer. So all a balancing act at the moment.

Crew are patiently waiting and still keen ‘to go’. I am just slightly concerned that if we get north and there is too much ice, how do we get back if wind has gone southerly!

But a nice break. Balthazar a boat we met last summer and who wintered before the end of the Passage at Lnuvik down the Mackenzie River came round the corner two nights ago on their way south. We have enjoyed Craik together and a pot luck supper together on their boat last night. Great to see them.

We are hoping to move north at the beginning of next week….

A Difficult Passage Thus Far….

A Message From The Captain…

This is proving a difficult passage this year. So far we have had an engine crisis and and an anchor winch crisis, both resolved be Rich who is fast becoming our Mr. Fixit with his vast experience of boats. But the real issue is that we are trapped in a cycle of northerly winds, coming from where we want to go, namely Point Barrow, the north westerly tip of Alaska. Also the ice has not yet opened up properly this year up there and there is only a narrow channel along the North Alaskan slope.

A cruise in the Aleutians to the south sound a very good idea!  My crew would shoot me!

We’re All at Sea ….. A Message from the Captain

We are at sea at last, though the ice is not too good up north by the look of things. Through the Bering Strait, some sailing but looks as if we will be motoring again soon. Had a bit of a turm when the motor suddenly cut out yesterday. But we (Rich) changed the fuel filters and, crucially I think, cleaned the air filter which I had neglected to do over the years…in business again