LANCASTER SOUND –- There's some debate onboard as to whether we're now officially in the historic Northwest Passage since it's possible to enter the waters from a few different geographic points, and no doubt many explorers did. Ultimately all ships have to navigate Victoria Strait, but we won't get quite that far on our journey. We've rounded the corner past Bylot Island as we head west to Resolute, which is just a couple days away, and no matter how you slice the Arctic archipelago, it's breath-taking sight.
This morning we're hoping to head out in one of the ship's Zodiacs to talk with the chief mate, Bryon Gibbons, about some of his experiences. He's come to the Arctic for more than 20 years and has had occasion to be the captain of the Louis, too. Later we're angling for another trip in the helicopter to Croker Bay, where there's apparently a glacier and maybe more wildlife.
With our time on the Louis rapidly coming to a close we're madly getting as much material on tape as we can. It's truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and we're just trying to take it all in while we can. Plus the time with my dad, Doug Sieberg, pictured above, has been so special. He'll be staying on the Louis until Kugluktuk, and then he may leave the Arctic forever after 30 years of coming here. I feel so lucky to have seen his work firsthand after growing up with stories and photos. Sometimes I think he was born about 200 years too late, with his passion for the open seas and wood-hulled tall ships and the life of a mariner. (Right now he's reading about Ernest Shackleton's fabled adventure through the Antarctic.) We've even managed to sneak in a few chess games, though my winning percentage is somewhere around, um, ZERO. (Not counting the games when he coughed if I made a bad move and allowed a take back.)
Anyway, more to come before we re-establish ourselves as landlubbers.