24th August 2016, @ 22h @ N68.28W096.08:
Today, we went through, probably the most challenging part of the passage in terms of navigation. Starting late last night we had to helm extremely accurately to zig zag our way through the reefs in the Requisite Channel of the Queen Maud Gulf. Once we made it out the other end of that we had most of the day to get to the starting point of the Simpson Strait. – Dario was the whole night awake navigating. – The Simpson Strait is known for strong currents that can push you into the shallows if not attempted at the right time. In the end, we had to slowdown the boat quite a bit to enter at a good moment. We wanted slack water at the most critical point. Helming, we knew we had to steer exactly on the target direction light. After two hours of intense concentration, this gets very tiring but it keeps your watch nice and interesting! To make sure we stayed on course we had a dedicated helms woman and a dedicated lookout with the binoculars, who also kept an eye on the depth. It was nice having another person with you on deck. There were quite a few wrecks along the way poking their remains out of the shallow water. We managed to get through without any hiccups, though the wind picked up quite a bit towards the end. – At this moment we have N 38 knots. – We were surprised how well the safe course was marked, for the amount of boats that must go through here. Many thanks to Victor, giving us once more great pilot advice on currents and tides.
While the adults were running up on deck from looking at the charts and back down again, Noé and Andri finished their lure box with a little help from Dario. It has become a work of great sophistication. They learned to use the drilling mashine etc..
We have also found a solution for our autopilot, which is great. A refurbish course computer will be shipped to Pond Inlet, where it will await our arrival. This thanks to Rob.
Now, we a rapidly sailing towards our next anchorage outside Gjoa Haven, we will likely get there around midnight. Looking forward to have a rest and warm up.