Expedition Report: Shelter in Cambridge Bay

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Dario reports, 18th and 19th of August:

On Thursday I tried all day to repair our course computer, without success. For hours, I was in a small compartment with Sabine changing our spare hydraulic rudder rude and pomp and determined 100%, that the course computer, after years of safe operation is no longer functioning. Our member Fiona emailed us the idea that it might be the brushes of the electric motor that runs the hydraulic pomp, but after replacing the whole unit with our spare one on board, we can exclude that.

On top of that we got on Thursday to Friday first 20 and later 30+ wind from SE and SSE. With that kind of wind and a fast building sea, it made no sense to tack. So we skipped Goja Haven and went for shelter in Cambridge Bay. We were tired of helming and anchored in front of town, because it was too rough to dock. It was rough all day and difficult to paddle in the dinghy to shore. We went on land to clear in at the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, where we had a warm welcome by officer Graham Kerr. At the Tourist Office we were able to have a shower, before we went to the library to see the very interesting exhibition about the Nunavut culture.
Sabine was interviewing elder Mary Avalak in the library, who grew 100% subsistence, means only from what the land provides. For example was she explaining, how to do water tight boots out of seal skin and use seal fed as kind of silicon for the joints combined with a special way to stitch.

At the library we also met Pamela Gross and Pamela Langan, who organized her husband Len to pick us up and soon after we got a ride to their remote cabin. We cocked a Swiss meal for all. The kinds are fan about the place and stayed, while the rest of us got a lift back to Cambridge and got wet in the surf paddling back to the boat.

Tomorrow, we plan to check Mia in the clinic, like we did in Dutch Harbor to make sure we have her health issue under control. We will also check if we can vaccinate against a whooping cough that exists in the villages up here and is dangerous for infants.

Repairing or replacing the autopilot is our major concern. Geese are leaving and winter is coming fast up here. It’s getting dark and cold, means 24 h helming gets more and more difficult without autopilot. Specially with 4 children to get home schooled, a baby to breast feed and collecting data. We hope to have a solution tomorrow. In case we have to wait, the elementary and high school asked us to do a presentation at the general assembly on Monday morning. Therefore, we hope to get a good picture of the weather tomorrow, so we can determine the best window to sail on. The earliest we can make it, will be 2morrow afternoon, – the latest hopefully Monday afternoon…

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