Herschel Island

Gjoa expeditie

We arrived on the 8th of September on Herschel Island. A place we knew that Amundsen had spend a winter, his third winter, after getting out of the ice in Gjoa Haven very late in the season. Herschel Island is still inhabited by a small group of people who have their own way of living. They still live of the land, catch their salmon, grow a few herbs and vegetables and go hunting in the neighboring mountains. But there is also a lot of history on the island. There is a house where Amundsun stayed, there is a museum with all the different vessels that once stayed there as part of their exploration of the Arctic. The head ranger tells a good story, he can keep a group busy for hours, on just a small piece of land, that seems to shift and relocate itself throughout the years. The locals are used to the moving island, and when the coastline comes to close, they move their house.

In the evening, after a well deserved meal of pork loin, brussel sprouts and baked potatoes, part of the group went back on shore. Not for the owls that were hooting there, nor the falcon that was hunting, nor the stories of the ranger, but for the sauna! Before dinner, the fire was laid and after dinner, the sauna was hot and the outside water was still cold enough for a plunge to cool down! What a treat! But it got better! Just as they got back on board, the sky was filled with Northern Lights, bright and dancing. So spectacular! 

Today we have set off again and will head out into the Beaufort Sea and will keep on going until we reach Nome, which is the most Northern port where we can clear in. We left this morning without any wind, the water reflecting everything like a mirror. We expect to be under engine for at least another night. And with 6 knots this last stretch will take us 6 or 7 days. But we know the wind will pick up with a pretty big low pressure area coming in and crossing over Alaska. Hopefully giving us the expected easterly winds!