Monday 21st August 2023 

By breakfast at 07:45 we had reached 73N 163W and had travelled 450 nautical miles from Nome. Passing the Icy Cape we were now off the North Slope. These are the last miles of the North American continent where the tundra slopes to sea level and the Arctic Ocean. The Cape was found on 17th August 1778 by James Cook on his third Voyage of Discovery. Blocked by sea ice he was convinced that he had found the western entrance to the Northwest Passage. Without ice protection he had to retreat but he had shown that the speculative geographers who claimed that the ice was from rivers were wrong. At 14:30 we encountered our first sea ice – very small bergs called growlers. We left the ice by 17:00 and on the horizon was the North Slope but, as we write this we are fog bound en route for Point Barrow.  We encountered more ice around the ship later in the evening because the air temperature had dropped to 5⁰C and the wind and waves moved the sea ice from the southern margin of the ice cap.

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