Just a few days ago, Steve and I interviewed each other atop the ice wall that had just put an end to our ice foot travels, next to a sea of brash ice that made kayaking impossible. Discouragement and frustration was the subject of the day, but we left agreeing that for once, we needed a break. Seldom in life does 5 days holed up in a wind storm constitute a positive development, but us in the Enduring Ice crew know we have to take our chances in any and all of their most minor forms.
The long days of southwesterly winds pushed the sea ice north to the mouth of the strait and east to Greenland. For us, this is a godsend. Yesterday, excited by the open water, we paddled 2km in a fierce 20 knot headwind before retiring due to heavy seas. Today, waking up refreshed and ready, we took advantage of (slightly) reduced winds, and a gorgeous sunny day, taking over half of our remaining distance to Carl Ritter Bay.
Few days of this expedition have ended with tired bodies attached to happy people, but after making significant progress while staying warm and no major injuries to report, the mood is practically gleeful. Finally we got a damn break!
The predominant wind is still strong and from the south, so we are again waiting in a river valley for an abatement in the wind around 2am Friday. At that point, we will scoot the next 10km into the bay and spend a week there filming and exploring.
When your 35-day kayak trip ends up just with 3 days of ocean travel, every day you move is blessed.