Terje and I took a long walk along the south coast of Somerset Island this morning to take a look at the central section of Bellot Strait. With ice coming into Depot Bay overnight we suspected that ice was being driven through the strait from west to east (not good news for us) and so it proved to be with the strait at Zenith Point choked with 9/10ths ice and a sea of white beyond.
Our only chance to get through the strait and into Peel Sound is for the winds to change from westerly’s to strong easterly’s and blow the 9/10ths ice away from the coast and allow us to creep down the coast and on to Gjoa Haven.
Later in the day the expedition cruise ship the MV Bremen came into the Bay and we were able to talk to their captain who invited us on board to get the latest weather and ice information.
What followed seemed somewhat surreal when one of the Bremen's large ribs came over to collect us and take us back to the ship. After a lengthy discussion with the captain and his officers we were given a cabin to use to shower and then invited to stay, first for afternoon coffee and cakes and then later for a 5 course dinner. Sitting in the saloon area answering the many questions from the passengers, I had to keep pinching myself as it seemed so unreal.
Dinner was excellent, the bottle of French Medoc that accompanied it went down well after 2 months drinking “Chateau Cardboard” and we left taking with us the best wishes of passengers and crew as they waved us goodbye from the ship's rails.