68º15.95' N, 167º12.75' W
We left Nome Tuesday afternoon after having first filled our water tank and said goodbye to Deb, Rolland, and Tibo who had come to see us off. We had done some reprovisioning the day before but had not found any eggs at the grocery store. Deb too had tried to find them for us but without success. We were just about to untie the boat when she asked whether we had got the eggs as a fresh lot had arrived at the store that very afternoon. When she heard that we hadn't, off they drove with Rolland to get two dozen eggs for us. So, every time we have eggs aboard, we are sure to remember the good people of the Precipice. Outside the breakwater, the Bering Sea was surprisingly choppy but as soon as we had got the sails up and settled on the right course, sailing was pretty enjoyable. This lasted for about twelve hours after which the wind dropped and, consequently, we have now been motor-sailing for the past two days.
Sarema crossed the Arctic Circle Thursday night at 00.27. This marked the unofficially official beginning of the Northwest Passage for us. To celebrate the occasion, we had the last two of Kathy's brownies and toasted our future success (!!) with a glass of wine.
While sailing in the Bering Strait, we came close to the International Date Line. The idea of crossing the Line and sailing into the future was very tempting but as rational people, we dismissed it. Obviously, the fact that crossing the Line would have meant violating the Russian Customs and Immigration Laws also influenced our decision-making.
At the moment, it seems that the further north we go, the less we see of the sun. We had thought it would be the other way around. So far, the weather has been cold, damp and foggy. Actually, we shouldn't be complaining since we are in Alaska and this is typical Alaskan weather. Wherever you look, whether it is the sky, the sea or a piece of land that every now and again rises above the eastern horizon, it is all grey, only in different tones.
According to the Arctic Sea Ice News and Analysis, published by the National Snow and Ice Data Center, high pressure has started to build in the Beaufort Sea. Whether this will continue, remains to be seen. We sincerely hope that the Arctic High with clear skies and blue seas is somewhere up there waiting for us!