Rough Days Ahead

8/9/22 163.00 miles

The Arctic Cowboys have paddled 163.0 miles, up to this point. As with all expeditions, you can plan…plan…and plan some more and there will be something you didn’t plan for. We planned for the cold. We planned for the ice. We knew there were cliffs. We knew there was wind. What we didn’t expect were the continuous waves. The first twelve miles were perfect. Then, waves, waves and more waves. The waves are a constant 4’-6’. Even without wind, there are waves. Oh, and then the fog. Not morning fog, but middle-of-the-day out of nowhere, fog.

The guys feel good and are in good spirits but they wish they could paddle more each day. All effort is going into maintaining the pace they are right now all while the waves are crashing up against the gigantic cliff faces and the fog rolls in. They have not had any trouble, thus far, with the ice. Today, they paddled about 24 miles. They made it to the top of Navy Board Inlet and plan on heading west on their next paddle. This entire coastline area is a Polar Bear Denning area and the team needs to be alert to more bear sightings. At the end of the day, they found a small spit of land to camp on. At the time of their check-in, they had not eaten dinner yet, were really tired and said they would start later tomorrow, since it was so late when they stopped today.

When planning for this expedition, Titus was instrumental in giving the team great direction. His advice has been dead-on. He’s keeping in touch with me, regarding the team. In addition, teammate, Rebekah, made some predictions are where the team will stop each day, as required by the parks department. Based on the map she provided, she was also dead-on. (depicted by the stars on the map) Rebekah has made it safely back to Texas and is enjoying some family time while keeping up with her teammates.

Tomorrow, decisions will be made on how best to prepare for the upcoming inclement weather. 28-32 mph winds with 40+ mph gusts are predicted by Thursday. The winds will remain high through Sunday so we may not see any movement from the team until Monday. If they paddle tomorrow, they would need to go 30 miles to get to a protected area. In ideal conditions, that would be no issue but, because of the waves, the conditions are not ideal. As West stated, “we have 2000 miles to go. We need to be conservative and safe”.

–Barbara Edington

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