We will benefit from wind from the South (or between SE to WSW or as close to).
Ice thickness is measured in tenths… 10/10th is impossible (even for purpose built ice breakers) - up to 4/10th is explorable by us… though we actually will only be able to get through 2 or 3/10ths and need in an ideal world 2/10th or lower.
Anything against this makes it difficult, at time dangerous (a North wind means an on shore wind - and we will have "no where to go" - and the coast is very shallow), 4/10th ice or more will certainly stop the boat, and combined with an adverse wind can break the boat.
Tomorrow (July 30th) we are going to try and catch the gap…. what is that?
We are effectively 500 miles south of Barrow Point - which is the NW corner of Alaska (nice views of Russia). That's 4-5 days in this boat. We also have light winds from the S - SW so will be having to do some under engine (to hit the timeframe - and this will give me time to complete the auto pilot installation).
Major issue there is NO WHERE to run to for the coming 800 miles - no storm shelter, no harbour and we are expecting a Northerly (possibly gale) at the end of the week. Worst case we get there and have to do a 180 degrees turn and run south again. But the skipper asked our views - and bearing in mind how long the others have been waiting - the unanimous view was to give it a go. I am now actually looking at the storm shelters as I am more ambitious at finding a hole we can drop into. The biggest issue is water depth as it is so shallow, and the approach has (as viewed from the approaching plane) so many moveable sand banks / spits.
Please, if you could spare even a fiver, do sponsor me by supporting the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust - all monies donated go directly to the charity.
Now it's time to see how I can work the sat phone, as the next update will come from that!
Richard Over & Out.