Polar party, polar bears and ice bergs

73’56.4N 85’43.2W course 110′ speed 7,2kn

After Beechey we went underway for an anchorage and hike on Devon Island. We had a beautiful sail almost into Scallon cove where we had a posibility of a dinghy ride and hike to Caswell Tower, or just into the valley.. but as we approached the bay, we let the sails down and while doing so, someone shouted, BEAR!!

Right next to our planned anchorage, a bear was leisurely walking around, no plan or intention was clear, so he sat down at some point and then proceded to lie down as we were dropping anchor. All the while he was keeping an eye on us. A beautiful sight! It was a massive good looking fairly well fed bear. So we decided, no shore party! Which sort of intervened with my plans, as we were no in the most Northerly anchorage of this voyage and the polar party would be that evening! I had planned to surprise everybody with decorating the saloon with Christmas lights and decorations.. but now I had to find a way around it.. So as most of the crew was sitting downstairs, we hung the lights together, passing them along in the saloon, decorating the mast and bookshelves, better then I could have done it on my own!

The not Christmas Polar Party soon got underway. We had made surprises for each other that could not cost more then 5 dollars to purchase or to decorate. So most of us used items found on beaches, left over rope and left over cardboard. It was a really nice evening starting with Gluhwein and snacks and then a BBQ on deck, which was extremely cold, and some dancing on deck even.. for a little while. As the sun went down the first signs of possibly Aurora Borealis where seen, but still very shy.

Next morning we set of again. No wind, so under engine we made our way out of the bay. Until someone, probably someone else as the day before, shouted BEAR! And yes there they were, on the other shore, two bears. One was at the water line and one was keeping its distance and lingered a little higher on the hill. The one at the waterline was eating something, so we could get really close.

The afternoon was spend under engine, passing big ice bergs and crossing Barrow strait into Lancaster Sound to the south side again. We have big icebergs around us right now. And as the nights are getting darker we have two look outs for small ice up front. Hopefully tomorrow we will visit Arctic Bay. The last settlement in Canada we will see before heading over to Greenland.

All is well on board, Jet

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