So the question we keep asking ourselves is...”do we stay or do we go?” and if we go which way do we go? With light winds forecast for the next week it would seem our hopes of being able to force a way through to Gjoa Haven under our own steam are very slim.
The ice strengthened cruise ship the Bremen, has left us to head through the Bellot Strait to meet up with the icebreaker Raddisson on the other side. Their original plan to get down to Gjoa Haven and Cambridge Bay is no longer realistic as it took the Raddisson 4 days to break a path through for the other expedition cruise ship “the Silver Explorer"! A trip that would normally be done in less than 24 hours. The Bremen will head over to Prince of Wales Island to let their passengers go ashore before the Raddisson escorts it back into Bellot Strait to return the way they came.
We hope to be able to obtain first hand information on conditions in Peel Sound and Franklin Strait when they pass by tomorrow.
The Raddisson is on station to escort a tug towing a barge that is headed for Cambridge Bay and at present this seems like our only chance to get through to Cambridge Bay and beyond. The tug can only travel at 6 kts and so the Raddisson will have to slow down too, a speed we can easily maintain if they carve a channel through the ice and at these slower speeds we should not encounter the turbulence an icebreaker usually creates that tosses these massive chunks of ice around making it very dangerous for yachts to follow in their wake.