Barbara Fitzpatrick 2 Aug 2016, crew. From anchored in the Nordenshel’da Archipelago
It’s Tuesday afternoon and we have been at anchor since Sunday morning in a beautiful bay off the coast of Siberia. We have had blue skies and the sun has beamed down on us, this little bay has been the perfect oasis for Northabout and crew to rest, recuperate and carry out necessary minor odd jobs. There is an eerie silence and calmness here, something to relish after the deafening noise onboard whilst thrashing around at sea. Whilst here, I have so enjoyed solitary moments up on deck absorbing the peace and quiet, feeling the magic of the remoteness and natural beauty surrounding and protecting us.
Whilst at anchor we have a respite from our normal watch routine and it is replaced with Anchor Watch, which is an hour and half slot, mine is from 12.30am to 2am. The other crew and Northabout are in a deep slumber, perfect quiet interspersed with gentle snoring from contented crew! Last night was an exception, as the wind picked up and changed direction, resulting in some bits of drifting ice coming into the bay, ‘crashing’ into the boat at about 4am, giving all the crew an alarming wake up call. There was no danger, it was simply the deafening noise of ice and aluminium in the still of the night! Dennis was soon on the job with the ice poles, keeping all at bay!
Whilst at anchor, the boat is a hive of activity; repairs, cleaning, studying ice charts, plotting our course, cooking, cleaning, snoozing, fishing and never ending banter! We are currently anxiously awaiting the latest ice charts to be released, these will determine whether we stay or go. Whilst we know the next 150miles of our voyage are currently navigable, the big concern is rounding Cape Chelusykin, which is currently solid ice. The clock is ticking, the ice charts are due in at 6pm, the bottle of Mamont vodka has been produced, time to toast safe onwards on our voyage. One thing for sure ….. Northabout and her crew are definitely raring to go!