We headed around the east side of Cornwall Island to see how high we could climb. We made it to 75 degrees when the ice surrounded the boat. It was amazing to be surrounded by new forming ice but we new at this point that we couldn’t keep heading north. Fortrus was digging a perfect channel through the Ice. We did a few turns and made some cool designs in the ice. The Scout was riding in a trench of water with ice on both sides. Amazing…
We headed south down Prince Regent inlet and got into some pretty heavy weather. The winds were gusting from the North at over 50 knots. The boat handled the stern seas of 5 to 7 feet with no problems at all. The Scout was doing some pretty impressive surfing. We think that it might have gotten barreled a few times.
We tried to anchor around Fort Ross but the wind was too much. We contacted the coast guard and together we agreed to shoot through the Bellot Straights. We ran into 7knots of current as we went through the narrows. Our speed dropped to less than 2 knots over the ground.
We knew that we would be running into some pretty serious ice once we got to the other side. The wind decided to drop off as we entered into the ice fields. The first wave of ice was pretty easy. It was around 3/10th of concentration. We knew that the second wave was going to be between 4/10th and 5/10th.
The ice in the second field got pretty thick so thought that it would be a good idea to put the jetskies in the water and have some fun. The guests and crew all jumped and floated around on chunks of Ice. The jet skies aired over a few icebergs and Sam decided to swim around the ice in a dry suit. We almost lost Notti as he floated away on a small piece of Ice. Sam rescued him on a Jet ski.
Once we were done playing around, we needed to punch through some heavy ice before making it into open water. Some of the bergs stopped Fortrus completely in her tracks. The Steel hull thumped against the ice so hard that people almost fell over on deck. It was pretty scary but we don’t have any salt water coming in. That’s a good thing.
We made it through and are now off to Cambridge Bay. The wind is a steady 28 knots and to seas are 4 to 6 on the nose, pretty bumpy weather but we need to bang out some more miles.
The trip across the northern Labrador Sea couldn’t have gone any smoother. The smiles and excitement from seeing a polar bear lasted the two days of the crossing.
The fog lifted as we arrived into the Pond Inlet channel and the day became absolutely beautiful and sunny. Fortrus was surrounded by mountains covered in glaciers as she cruised into Pond Inlet.
We cleared into Canadian customs and had a little walkaround town. We got to see our first Narwhal tooth. Unbelievable to imagine how big these animals must be.
Fortrus will make her way west through some small icebergs tonight where she will anchor off Bruce Head in the attempt to find the illusive Narwhal. This spot hosts many different species of sea mammals. We will spend the day here, do a little fishing and maybe go ashore for a hike up a mountain.
We’ve now cleared the Straights of Belle Isle. Looks like we just made it through in time. Twenty four hours from now brings 35 knot winds and short 12 ft seas.
We’re heading into some serious fog as we start our three day trek across the Labrador Sea. The winds are 25 knots and the seas are starting to freshen up. The big wind and bumps should stay behind us. We’ve got a little current running so we’ll only be able to average 8 knots till we reach the warm northern current that runs north along the west coast of Greenland. We’re hoping for a blistering 10 knots close to the shore.
The outside air temperature is down to 52 degrees and the water temp has dropped into the low sixties.
The whales and dophins have been all around us. Absolutely amazing…
We are not expecting to see another boat for the next three days. The coast of Greenland will be a welcome sight.
The seas have been flat calm and we had the opportunity to see more whales on the way to Halifax. This time we got to see some Humpbacks. They didn’t come too close but it’s always a welcome and exciting sight.
As usual, the fog came in thick coming around Nova Scotia. The bow completely disappeared as the fog took on the consistency of Pea Soup. The burgee pole that stands just 25ft from the bridge window was no longer visible. Fortrus had her Fog Horn sounding as we weaved through small fishing boats just a few hundred meters around us. We never even saw a light.
On the morning of August 6th, we’re hoping that the fog lifts before we start our entrance into Halifax.
We now have 370NM between Fortrus and Halifax Canada. That’s where we will spend some time provisioning and getting ready for the north. We will acquire a new freezer that will fit up on the sundeck. This will help Michael with the massive job of provisioning Fortrus for the ride across the Arctic. It will have a secondary purpose of becoming a cold garbage locker once the provisioning has been depleted. We will be removing our dirty oil and taking on clean lube. Fortrus will also be fully toped up with northern diesel to handle the trip. We will definitely have a few very busy days in Halifax, nothing that a few poutines and some Timmy’s will get us through.