Well, since the last of my Blue Planet Odyssey logs, we have acquired a new experience to tick off our bucket-lists.
By our decision to sail to Arctic Bay, we were unfortunately way-laid by ice floes. As the ice thickened about us, and leads became less frequent, we decided to turn back to Lancaster Sound. While making our way back through Admiralty Inlet, we soon found that the ice was packing us in with no clear leads ahead.
Sea water, due to the salt it contains, freezes at a lower temperature than fresh water. The air and sea temperature were very low while we were in the ice: around 0°C.
Nera sitting on the ice. - Cornell Sailing Events
The ice which was around us ranged from bergy bits to ice islands which are very deep. It also ranged from very blue ice which sat on the surface and ice that was practically see through which made it difficult to discern from the water around.
The ice surrounding us was multi-year ice and pockets of first year ice which was still frozen. Multi-year ice stays frozen for the whole year and in summer, breaks up and drifts on top of the sea. During summer, multi-year ice loses its top layer, while in the winter, the water beneath it cools and freezes on the bottom of the ice. As the ice melts, meltwater pools form on the pieces of ice.
We eventually, through various punting techniques, made our way out of the ice into clear waters around 22:00pm.
Overall, we’ve decided to look upon the event as a very good team building exercise. Event website