TO DO After Teleport 2011 Trip:
Write a bunch of articles *Tick*
Run safari to the Galapagos Islands *Tick*
Enjoy Christmas with the family *Tick*
And New Years Eve with friends *Tick*
Run two photographic safaris to Kenya *Tick*
Plan for another Arctic summer aboard Teleport… Hmmm, we'd better get onto that last one hey!
So - Yes - we've been getting a lot of messages from people wondering what the plan is, and specifically "are you really going back for more?!" Yes, yes we are! The plan is that we'll leave Australia a day or so after my/Chris's 29th birthday (21st June) and fly right back to good old Cambridge Bay on Victoria Island. There, after a spot of kite-skiing with friends, we'll unwrap Teleport, hopefully marvel at how completely undamaged she is after such a brutal winter (fingers crossed), do a bit of work (you know, replace the engine - nothing serious! Haha), and when the bay melts rendering kite skiing impossible, we'll launch her, hoist her pretty little tan sail and continue our adventure where we left off, onwards to Alaska and beyond!
We're thinking we'll follow the southern coast of Victoria Island for a bit, stopping in at the very traditional community of Ulukhaktok (Holman), maybe visit Banks Island, and then swap over to the northern Canadian mainland coast that we'll hug around to Alaska. While we shouldn't encounter any icebergs (they are more of a Eastern Arctic phenomenon, calving off Greenland mostly) we'll still need to keep a sharp eye out for sea ice, and more random uncharted rocks like we past by last season! It's the wildlife however that's got us excited - more polar bears and whales hopefully, and this time even some walruses! With a bit (lot) of luck, we won't get too badly brutalized by the weather gods as we round the ‘corner' of Alaska and head through the notorious Bering Strait and tuck into the port of ‘Nome' in Alaska - which we're considering as our end-point / winter-over point for the end of this season. (Know any one who lives in Nome? Anyone? Please let us know if so!!).
We are also toying with the exciting idea of maybe nipping across the Bering Strait to Russia and seeking permission to sail briefly over to the amazing and wildlife-smothered Wrangle Island in Siberia (it has the world's densest population of polar bears!) before hopping back across to Nome before the season gets too nasty and cold - but we don't really like our chances with either the weather, or the Russian red-tape. But we're looking into it - if any of you have any inside information on visiting Russia by boat, please drop us an email as our plans are still malleable at this stage, and it'd be an amazing experience to share!
Anyway, excluding the unlikely Wrangle Island hop, it'd be a total of around 2000 nautical miles this season, where as we did about 3600 nm last season. "What's that?" I hear you say, "That sounds a little too easy!". Fear not. Not only is the sailing season half as long up there as it was starting in Halifax (Realistically we have mid July to mid September this time, as opposed to mid June to September last year!), but we have a lot to do!
One of the things that we've been knitting our brows over lately is getting a refurbished engine for Teleport! As most of you know we had a lot of engine problems last year, and although it was nothing we couldn't sort out with a lot of hard work, an enormous amount of stress, and a few dubious little gobs of glue, we'd really like not to have to add engine problems to our worries here on in, so we're hoping to swap her with a refurbished one of the same old trusty build (so it'll fit the same engine mounts, and all my new-found intimate SABB engine knowledge will still apply!) Jess has started emailing all the contacts and websites that you guys suggested last year in response to one of our blogs, and we've been getting some great leads! So things are looking up in that regard!
We also need to get some paper (and electronic) charts for Canada west of Cambridge Bay, and the North & West Alaskan coastline (paper charts we could borrow, anyone?), organize visa's, and work out logistically where we could leave our little green sailboat in Nome. Thankfully Dr. Shrink will be providing us with protective shrink-wrapping for Teleport this season to keep her snug!
This season we're also going to deck Teleport out with the latest and greatest in waterproof, shockproof (though still likely not polar bear-proof!) HD video cameras - the GoPro Hero2, which now has a remote ctrl etc and should let us get exceptional footage for our video updates! I'm also hoping to get an underwater housing for one of our Canon DSLR cameras, and as we already have several drysuits, I can't see why I shouldn't go for a bit of a swim to get some even more exciting vision! =)
In other news, France's #1 sailing magazine ‘Voiles & Voiliers' has just finished putting together what looks like a great feature article about our voyage (I can't read French, but the photos look good anyway! Haha) for their April or May issue, and that German online TV channel ‘Yacht TV' has re-cut our last few teleport video blogs into the second of their 2-part documentary on us which also looks great (or so we are told, because understanding German is not our strong point either!). If you can understand German you might find it interesting and even if you don't, you might still enjoy the footage, and the funny accents! Over 4,000 views already!
Watch it here: http://tv.yacht.de/video/Abenteuer-Nordwestpassage,-Teil-2/074bd687707ec4fd7cc99c7b51e244d3
And for anyone who's getting itchy feet with all this exciting sailing talk - we've just been contacted by ‘Doug' the skipper of "Grey Goose" who is planning to transit the Northwest Passage this summer and is seeking crew! For more information visit his website http://northwestpassage2012.com Don't forget to pack your woolies!
Chris & Jess