Overnight we entered Baffin Bay by rounding Bylot Island and approaching Pond Inlet from the east. Here we had our first sighting of snow-capped mountains and more ice, but it looked like it would not deter us from the transit.
As we are following the history of the NWP in reverse, it was in this area of ocean, known as Baffin Bay, where the search for the sea route to the west began in the 16th and 17th centuries. When they were found the unknown main features were named after the early navigators: – Davis Strait, Baffin Island, Baffin Bay, Frobisher Bay, Hudson Strait and Hudson’s Bay – and became the signposts for those that followed, especially those in the 18th century when explorers were transfixed by the claims that a route via Hudson’s Bay held the key to the western Arctic Ocean. Several 18th century explorations to the Bay and beyond failed because of ice and by the end of the century the view was that there was no NWP, certainly not by that route. Since proved incorrect, but it is easily blocked by ice.
We made a technical stop at Pond Inlet at 14:00 to drop off the Canadian Ice-pilot, who had been with us from Cambridge Bay and bring on board a Greenland Ice-pilot. This is an appropriate place as the Inlet has an airfield. During the afternoon we returned east through the Eclipse Sound into Baffin Bay and headed towards Greenland. We have once again to put our clocks forward one hour, so we are at GMT -4.