After leaving Croker Bay we decided to pull over and play on an Iceberg. We found a Monster berg and pulled the scout up to it. Everybody jumped off and instantly became kids. It looked like a perfect floating winter playground. Guests and crew all started to climb and play on the Ice. After some time, we decided to back Fortrus up to the berg so that everybody could step off and on to the swim platform. Pretty cool…
We anchored that night at Beechy Island. We went ashore to see the gravesites of Franklin’s expedition. We all gave thanks to the explorers that paved the way through the NW passage. It’s unbeleivable to imagine what it would have been like to be stranded there. Noddy and Erik ran into an Arctic Hare on the island and got a few great photos. We also saw a fox running around on Beechy the next day. Other than the animals, the island has a very sober feeling about it.
The weather changed over night. The pressure dropped more than 16 mb and the seas became a short six feet. The winds lasted the entire 60NM to Resolute where we needed to be to pick up the Australian boys. Our voyage is now definitely starting to feel like an adventure.
Michael was running a little low on fresh fruit and veg. We had my parents, Beth and Brian pack up some supplies and meet up with the boys on their way through Ottawa. The four made it through some thick fog and into Resolute. Michael was very relieved to receive some much needed fresh supplies. There isn’t much in the way of fresh vegetables or fruit up here.
With the change in weather, the ice decided to shift and block our way south. We contacted the Canadian Coast Guard to discuss the situation with the ice. They agreed with our plan. We will hang out up here for a couple of days and wait for the ice to dissipate before heading south. Let’s hope the ice cooperates with our plan.
Now that we have all the guests on board and a couple of days in hand, we’ve decided to head a little further north. The snow has been coming down hard and the boats brow is now covered in Ice. The guests were having a good time taking photos in the snow.
We spoke to a few locals in Resolute and they put us on to a pod of Baluga Whales. Very cool white whales.
The hope tomorrow is to make it all the way to 80 degrees north. We’ll try to make it all the way up to the pack Ice.
Just when we though it couldn’t get any better. We find a polar bear riding an Iceberg in the middle of the Labrador Sea. Absolutely Amazing!!!
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.
Halifax is a great town. It has a ton of great pubs, nice restaurants and it’s full of helpful friendly people. The buildings are old, beautiful and the streets are super clean. The Fortrus crew had a great time.
Brian from Premier Marine helped us organize everything that needed to be accomplished in such short time. We discarded, shopped, loaded, and bunkered. Fortrus is now fully loaded and sitting very deep in the water. Sarah from the Maritime Summit Shop helped us with our cold weather gear. The staff was extremely helpful and had everything organized and ready for us to pick up as soon as we hit tall ship quay.
We left Halifax on the morning of August 9th. It is now day two of the crossing and with the long range weather looking good, we’ve decided to do a straight shot to Nuuk Greenland. It’s a 1300NM run that will take us around Newfoundland, through the straights of Belle Isle and up Iceberg alley.
We had another great dolphin send off and we’ve seen a few whales that also seemed to wish us a safe trip.
From this point on, everything becomes unfamiliar and extremely exciting. We’re all looking forward to see the first sign of Ice.
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.