Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron, Halifax
44º 37.277’ N, 63º 34.835’ W
We arrived in Halifax yesterday afternoon after a pleasant 28-hour crossing from Cape Breton, and are now tied up alongside a wharf at the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron. After all the ice, fog, and winds, it is really great to be here, and the fact that we are going to stay put for at least a fortnight for a change, feels absolutely wonderful!
Our odyssey from Seward, Alaska, to Halifax, Nova Scotia, amounted to a total of 7,143 nautical miles (13.229 kilometres), and it took us exactly four months, eight days, eleven hours and fifteen minutes to complete it. But, I have to confess that the last 1,600 nautical miles with almost continuous headwinds and oncoming seas were a bit too much for us. It would have been so much nicer if, after crossing the Arctic Circle for the second time, the voyage had ended there and then. In order to make it a little easier for those who come after us, I therefore propose that the city of Halifax be moved closer to the Arctic Circle. I would think that all those who have already sailed the Northwest Passage from west to east and know what I am talking about, are more than willing to second this motion.
At the moment, we have rather mixed emotions about our voyage, especially the Northwest Passage as part of it. Even for us, it is difficult to comprehend the enormity of crossing the Passage, and although we are extremely happy that we made it and that it is now finally over, underneath, there persists a deep longing for the Arctic and its mysteries, of which we only saw a glimpse. And we sorely miss Alaska and Kodiak, their beautiful, empty anchorages, pristine nature and abundant wildlife. Hopefully, someday, we'll be back!
We wish to thank all those who helped us along the way either in person or through email: those who provided us with vital ice and weather information; with ice poles to force our way through a field of ice when necessary; with a dozen jerry cans to store extra fuel for our long journey; with a dry suit to go underwater and cut a rope off the propeller if need be; with goggles to see our way even in rough weather; with musk ox wool to keep our hands warm; with fish, crab and moose meat to nourish us; and those who invited us into their homes; who did our dirty laundry for us; who took us sightseeing; who entertained us in various ways; who encouraged us to continue even when the passage seemed impassable and, last but not least, our family who despite their worry and anxiety, allowed us to do what we wanted to. We thank you!
P.S. After a few weeks, we will leave Halifax and set sail for the Caribbean where we'll spend the winter months and restore our good boat Sarema to her pre-Arctic glory. Eventually, we'll go through the Panama Canal once again, and then... but, that's already another story.