We continue to have strong winds on both sides of the Bellot Strait and although we would prefer more east and less north these 25kt winds will be moving the ice around and breaking up the large floes. The more northerly nature of the winds should also ensure that the ice here in Prince Regent Inlet will flow past the eastern entrance to the Bellot and give us the opportunity to try and go through tomorrow when the winds die down.
Yesterday we were joined in the anchorage by a 3rd boat, the Canadian flagged Gjoa with Anne and Glenn on board who plan to wait for the tug to head through and then follow them, planning to overwinter in Cambridge Bay. Both Arctic Tern and Novara have no plans to overwinter in the Arctic, both preferring to get down to Alaska before the ice closes Cape Bathurst and Barrow Point. Therefore if tonights ice charts show what we hope for then we will leave tomorrow to head south along the west coast of Boothia Felix and try to get to Gjoa Haven.
It would seem that of the 14 boats that had posted an intent to transit the NWP in 2014 from east to west, only 4 remain.
Last night all three boats took up the offer of dinner on board the Tandberg Polar and for some of us it was our first taste of Seal stew, and very nice it was too. The six Norwegians on board were great company and the engineer, Erik is the great grandson of the famous Norwegian explorer Frijdtof Nansen and shares his grandfathers surname. With conditions in the bay a little choppy he came over to collect everyone in the tugs large rib and later gave everyone a tour of the ice strengthened tug.