Friday 1st September 2023

At breakfast we had reached 74N 90W with an overcast sky passing fog, a moderate chop and some snow showers. By 13:00 we were dressed for our landing, just as our title page states, “This is how a (couple) must dress to step outside” – at least 5 layers, over trousers and good strong boots. …

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Thursday 31st August 2023 

An early start, 06:45, for arrival at Conningham Bay. There is a stronger wind today and so one feels the cold for the first time. The landscape here, again is of glacial origin, only on a larger scale as the eskers here are particularly high and extensive. Yesterday and overnight, we were close to the …

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Wednesday 30th August 2023 

At this stage of the transit, we are at the centre of the Franklin Expedition of 1845 controversy. Overnight we travelled to 69N 95W. Where we are, in 1845, was the location of the last chance for the British Admiralty to ‘conquer the Far North’. There were a reducing number of supporters for big ventures …

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Tuesday 29th August 2023

At 08:00, en route to Gjøa Haven we had reached 68N 97W. Outside through the sprayed stained window of the cabin it looked wet and misty but with improvements on the horizon in the east. 45 years after the searches for Franklin were abandoned the NWP was first navigated by Roald Amundsen between 1903 – …

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Monday 28th August 2023 

“Breaking News” Guess who made the big TV screen in the Explorer Lounge. Overnight we made good progress towards Cambridge Bay and arrived a little before 07:00. The settlement and the region featured on an old David Bellamy programme about the NWP and the Inuit people. This was used a lot in H’s teaching of …

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Sunday 27th August 2023 

When Larsen returned to Vancouver he went by way of the then untried northern route. He visualised a time when large powerful icebreakers would manage summer transits of the passage with little difficulty. Actually, this has not been the case. On the southern route, that most ships take, there is still a risk of closure, …

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Saturday 26th August 2023

Today at 09:00 we were at 70N 120W heading towards Victoria Island and Ulukhaktok on Prince Albert Sound and the west coast of the island. Formerly known as Holman Island, the rocky island offshore is the site of a Hudson’s Bay Company centre. In 1944 Larsen reached here on his transit to Vancouver via the …

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Friday 25th August 2023 

At the start of the day, we were at 71N 130W heading due east at 14 knots with some fog. By 08:30 it was beginning to clear. We are en route to Franklin Bay and the unusual location known as Smoking Hills, where the Pebble Shales can self-combust. If one had been brought up in …

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Thursday 24th August 2023

We arrived at Herschel Island in the early morning light, with a temperature of 7C, fog, light winds and no swell. Later this morning we expect to be making a landing by Zodiac dinghies. The island is part of National Parks Canada as it is a former whaling station, Inuit settlement with lots of archaeological …

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