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Logbook of the Northwest Passage by Captain Mark Behrend

28/8/2006: Destination - Point Barrow

... no idea where this day will take us. All I can say is: we are on the right course.

We left Herschel Island on a west-northwest course at 5.30 pm, clear destination Point Barrow. It took the ships we contacted today six to eight days for the route. We will not have this much time. I am sure: ... we will not need it. We are now sailing at top speed towards a point about 60 nautical miles north of the coast which guarantees us ice-free water towards the west for as long as possible. Estimated arrival in about ten hours (8.00 am board time). We will then change our course to head south so that we find the gap 5 nautical miles wide between 8/10 and 9/10 ice at a right angle. Fog? Perhaps, very light southerly winds ...
"Finally the current will win," our ice-master Capt. Norman Thomas said to me once two weeks ago. But what does "finally" mean when I have a backpack with 130 return plane tickets on my back? We are looking for an earlier opportunity. Tomorrow and the day after tomorrow will decide. We have finally broken through the pack ice and the satellite communications, which in the past week sometimes drove us to despair.