74º03' N, 91º00' W
As we turned around the corner of Somerset Island and arrived in Barrow Strait, there was more and more ice floating around us. For some reason, we had thought that we had seen the last of it coming through Peel Sound. You can therefore imagine how dismayed we were to see ahead of us, a narrow but continuous belt of ice that seemed to stretch from the shore straight across the Strait. It was a nightmarish feeling as if the ice that we thought we had left behind, had come to haunt us.
At first, we just could not see a way through it. We then carefully motored closer to the shore and finally found an opening through the ice belt. Henceforth, the sea was practically ice-free until we saw a second ice belt rising from behind the horizon! There were three ice barriers like this one after another after which the ice seemed to vanish. So, if it is true as it now seems that the pack ice is behind us, the floe ice is behind us, and most of the bergy bits are behind us, all we can say is, “GOOD RIDDANCE!!”
We now know that, despite its unquestionable beauty, ice is a truly frightening element and, unlike the polar regions, it is something we can definitely do without. So, for future reference, if we ever again come up with one of those great ideas like “Hey, why don't we sail to the Antarctic!”, we hereby authorise our children to lock us up!