Deadliest Catch and Fortrus

We made it past Dutch but we didn’t end up making it all the way to Juneau. We pulled into Kodiak, Alaska and are waiting for the weather to break in the gulf before we cross.

Crew of the m/y Fortrus on the Cornelia Marie. Photo by Natasha Kovalenko.

Fortrus pulled into the second largest fishing harbor in America. We docked beside the Cornelia Marie from the Deadliest Catch. The Time Bandit is out of the water with the hopes of being splashed next week. Fortrus and the rest of the crews ended up meeting out one night. Tony Lara, the captain of the Cornelia Marie has been a huge help. Paul and the crew invited Tony on board for dinner and he returned the favor by having us and bunch of fisherman over to his place for a seafood BBQ.  We had a great time and everybody here in Kodiak have been awesome.

On deck with Captain Tony aboard the m/v Cornelia Marie. Photo by Natasha Kovalenko.

Tony gave us all a great tour of the Cornelia. It’s an amazing fishing machine.

Captain Tony Lara of the m/v Cornelia Marie giving some fishing pointers.

Hanging in the mess of the m/v Cornelia Marie.

We’ve seen sea otters, whales and we’ve been getting way too close to some sea lions.

Swimming sea lion. Photo by Natasha Kovalenko

Sea otter. Photo by Natasha Kovalenko.

Fortrus has had a great time in Kodiak and will be bummed to leave the island life.

Sea lion. Photo by Michael Power.

Fortrus with the fleet in Kodiak. Photo by Paul McDonald.


Cambridge Bay

Due to some weather, we decided to stay in Cambridge Bay for a few extra days. Levi and Charlie took the guests fishing up a fresh watercreek. They pulled in some good fish and had a great time.  They met a retired local named Jimmy and made arrangements to meet up with him the next day.

Quads alongside Fortrus. Photo by Stephen McDonald.

Photo by Stephen McDonald.

Jimmy came by the boat and took us to meet his sister and brother in-law who rented us some quads and a truck. We followed Jimmy up to Mount Pelee. The weather was fantastic and the ride was super fun. A few of us ran up the mountain and Jacob spotted a small herd of Muskox.  Steve got some amazing video of the herd running strait down at him.  We were lucky enough to get some great pictures right up close to these wild creatures. Amazing… On the way back we found a weasel and also pulled in some Arctic Char with Jimmy.

Muskox. Photo by Michael Power.

Photo by Michael Power.

The people of Cambridge Bay have been very helpful and Fortrus is now fully provisioned for the next leg of it’s journey. We tried to fuel while we were here but due to ice the town’s delivery of winter fuel is late and they can’t afford to deplete their supplies any more.

Weasel. Photo by Michael Power.

We all had a very memorable time in Cambridge Bay….

Next Stop, Tuktoyaktuk.

Trick photography!  Photo by Michael Power.


Playing on an Iceberg and Resolute

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…

Photo by Natasha Kovalenko

Photo by Levi Bell.

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.

Photo by Charlie Howden.

Photo by Charlie Howden.

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.

Photo by Natasha Kovalenko.

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.

Photo by Natasha Kovalenko.

Artic Hare. Photo by Erik Aubry.

 


Search for the Narwhal

After we left Pond Inlet we went on a search for the infamous Narwhal. The crew has put a lot of research into finding them. All sources pointed us to a place called Bruce’s Head in Koluktoo Bay.  We anchored there for the night in the hopes of seeing the unicorn of the sea. After no sightings, we decided to head out on the morning of the 27th.

Approaching the Glacier. Photo by Michael Powers.

We had to do a little more exploring and decided to head up into Croker Bay to see some Glaciers. As we approached the first glacier werealized that there was a lot of ice floating around in the fjord.As Fortrus crept towards the Ice wall, Paul spotted a polar bear swimming in the water. We quickly turned the boat around and followed her as she swam towards an Iceberg. The cameras were flying on the bow as she climbed up the Iceberg and disappeared down the other side.

Polar Bear! Photo by Paul McDonald

Steve spotted her again as she swam towards the glacier. Charlie brought the little boat around and we began to hunt her down for some closer photos. The ice was thick and the scout was banging through some very big bergs. The current was ripping and the ice tried to grab us a few times. Ice flows are definitely not something to play with.

Ice. Photo by Stephen McDonald.

Scott and Charlie Scouting the bear through the ice. Photo by Michael Power

The tender caught up to the bear and we took some great photos of her with some magnificent backdrops. In the moment and not reallythinking, we noticed that we were under at least ten stories of ice that could fall on us at any moment. Very dangerous and extremely scary but the end result was, getting some Ridiculous photos and video.

More then ten stories tall at the water. Photo taken by Stephen McDonald.

We have no idea what’s next.

The Boys just after we spotted the polar bear. Photo by Natasha Kovalenko


It just gets better and better!!!!

Polar Bears! Photo by: Paul McDonald

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!!!

Polar Bear. Photo by: Paul McDonald


Upernavik

The Icebergs got bigger and bigger as Fortrus cruised north along the west coast of Greenland. The scenery as we pulled into Upernavik was absolutely stunning.

Town of Upernavik. Photo by Michael Power

We had a good last night in Upernavik that included a massive fireworks show that I’m sure the locals will be talking about for years.

The guests and crew went through a few hundred rounds of paintballs and most are feeling the affects today. The night also included a skinny dip by a few brave souls.

Midnight Sun. Photo by Michael Power

We met Trevor, a fellow Australian that has been traveling around the world for years on his 30ft sloop. He spends his winters locked in the Greenlandic Ice with 5 months of provisions. We had him onboard for breakfast and sent an email off to his wife saying that he was O.K. They hadn’t been in contact with each other for months.

Trevor’s Sloop. Photo by Michael Power

Amanzi Marine organized us some fuel in Upernavik. We topped up and took off. Greenland is now behind us. Wow… it is absolutely stunning.

Fueling. Photo by Michael Power

Next stop is Pond Inlet, Canada.


Artic Circle with the Boys

Paul and the Boys made it to Nuuk. They are onboard and drinking some whiskey. We decided to head out immediately. At 13:30 on Aug 21st, Fortrus crossed over into the Arctic Circle.

Fortrus & the Burg: Photo by Natasha Kovalenko

As we circled around Disko Island, we saw some fantastic icebergs that stand hundreds of feet in the air. They are absolutely unbelievable. The photo’s are flying.

Paul & the Boys: Photo by Michael Power

The trip with the boys has already been adventurous. Today we tried to make it into Ilulissat harbor. As we edged our way in, there was far too much ice and we had to turn back.  Chucks of ice the size of volkswagen’s were banging off our bow. The noise of the ice bouncing off Fortrus was enough for us to turn around. We were still nine miles from the harbor when the decision was made to turn back. The ice was much thicker ahead.
We are now heading another 220NM north to Upernavik. We’ll take on some fuel there before turning left and crossing to Pond Inlet.
Hopefully we’ll have better luck getting in there.

Ice Sculpture. Photo by Charles Howden