Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Ice, Ice Baby

I just got this picture from Martin.  The ice situation does not look good.  As Aventura heads to Cambridge Bay, it looks like the ice is thick and deep.  Meaning, they are going to have to make a few stops to wait out the ice, curtailing a straight shot to Cambridge Bay.  Here's to hoping that it breaks apart for them helping them to reach their next destination without delay.
Lot's of white means lot's of ice.  YIKES!
This could slow things down dramatically.

Oh Canada!

Martin catching up on tales of the Northwest Passage.  (Photo cred: (
So far Aventura and crew have sailed a total of 1650 miles.
Navigating through ice.
The second week of the trip required a lot of navigating through ice.  In fact, so concentrated at times that the crew had to have 1-hour watch periods because it required so much concentration to power through the ice.  I would text Martin often, and he would reply back, "Can't talk, ICE!"

Finally, the ice seemed to dissipate and Aventura crossed the demarcation line between the US and Canada.

First landfall in Canada was a small town called, Herschel Island.  Herschel Island used to be a busy whaling station but is now part of the... now let me get this spelled right... the Qikiqtaruk Territorial Park.
Herschel Island (Photo crew:
Once in Herschel Island, Martin and the rest of the crew were greeted by one of the two caretakers of the island, Peyton Lenny.  He reported that they are only visited by two or three yachts per year.

While on the island, there was an old sauna and the crew was able to convince them to fire it up so that he and the crew could warm up their bones in a warm sauna.
So much for warming up their bones.  After spending time in the sauna, Martin was introduced to a proper Arctic baptism.  FREEZING!

Now, Aventura and crew are headed to Tuktoyaktuk "Tuk", the largest Inuvialuit settlement in the area.  Hopefully, once they arrive, Martin will find internet access, because he is already half way through his satellite phone minutes, so our conversations are getting cut shorter and shorter.

More pictures to come!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Ice in all directions

Martin sailing through the ice. 
Aventura and crew have been navigating through ice for the past few days and at times very worried that they might get stuck in it and have to wait it out.  I was very excited for Martin to reach the next stop, Point Barrow, where he hoped to have cell coverage and the internet.  However, once they arrived, it was so shallow that the boat was hitting the bottom so they had to forgo the stop and sail on.

An email I received from the Jimmy Cornell:

"...we left Dutch Harbor 9 days ago, had a good sail north, through Bring Strait, crossed Arctic Circle, then we got caught in a large concentration of ice 30-40 miles off Cape Wainwright (from 8/10 to 3/10)  and spent about eight hours extricating ourselves.  We eventually made it to Point Barrow early this morning, Thursday.  As the ice forecast along the Alaskan coast looks quite favourable we decided to continue without stopping. There is still a lot of ice along the coast, sometimes quite concentrated. sometimes quite wide apart, so it is easy to slalom a course and generally keep to our desired course. Sunny and clear, took lots of photos, but only of ice as not much else, just a few birds around. Still, quite spectacular
scenery. So we are making steady progress."

(Photo cred:

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Official Gateway to the Northwest Passage

Today, while sitting in church, I got a message from Martin that Aventura was officially sailing through the Bering Strait and had crossed the Arctic Circle.  Two big accomplishments and marking the beginning of the Northwest Passage.

Here you can see on the ship's radar that Aventura is officially sailing past the Arctic Circle.  (photo Cred:
Once they passed the Arctic Circle, Jimmy Cornell makes a point of giving something special to the crew to make the moment memorable.  In this instance, each crew member got a giant-sized Hershey bar.  Not too shabby.
I am lucky this time around because Martin purchased a nifty gadget that enables him to bounce text messages off the nearest satellite.  It's like having him home.  I text him, he actually texts me right back (if he isn't working a line or his fingers aren't too cold).  Usually my text is, "Call me."  Which he is also able to do since he brought our satellite phone.  This all helps soften the blow that he'll be gone for the next few months while I manage things back home.  Which isn't a big deal since I've done this rodeo before.  However, I really enjoy being able to sync up with Martin and get updates from him.  In fact, he called me later today and I could tell he was cold since his words were a little more pronounced than usual.  He laughed because he said that he was freezing!  So glad that I passed on this adventure because he sounded COLD!

Looks like Aventura will arrive in Point Barrow on Wednesday where Martin will have a little more access to emails and internet  (Always a luxury when sailing).  I'll continue to keep you updated on this adventure.

Fair winds and smooth seas, Martin.


(photo cred:

Friday, July 17, 2015

Next Adventure: The Northwest Passage

Well, I bet you have been wondering what was next on Martin's bucket list?  I think that we have kept you wondering long enough.

On Saturday, July 11, Martin took off to Alaska to board Aventura, and set sail through the Northwest Passage.  The Northwest Passage is a route that goes through the Arctic Ocean, along the northern coast of North America via waterways that connect the Pacific and Atlantic ocean.
Different routes through the Northwest Passage
Martin arrived in Dutch Harbor, Alaska being greeted by the crew of Aventura.  This trip will be a little different since Martin will not be sailing on AMARA.  AMARA is not equipped to brave the climate or break up the ice with her hulls.  Boats that sail the Northwest Passage are specifically designed with large, heavy steel hulls that are able to cut through the ice as they make way through the Passage.  AMARA remains in Panama waiting for us to make up our minds where we are going to take her next.  We left her there to wait out hurricane season.

This trip, it will be Aventura that will be hopefully getting Martin to his stopping point in Greenland.  If all goes well (fingers crossed) Aventura and crew should arrive in Greenland somewhere around the first part of September.

While in Dutch Harbor, and getting Aventura provisioned and ready to set sail, Martin was tasked with the assignment of attaching Aventura's, Blue Planet numbered flag to the lifelines.  Of which, he promptly dropped into the arctic waters.  Luckily, last minute, Martin had decided to bring his dry suit, which he promptly put to use as he had to go in to the freezing waters and fish around the bottom for the flag.  With luck on his side (at least for this adventure) he was able to find the flag.
Martin enjoying a quick dip in the harbor in
Dutch Harbor, Alaska.
On Wednesday, Martin and the rest of the crew set sail to Point Barrow (which will take around 10 days).  This will put them just past the arctic circle and well on their way through the Bering Straight.
Aventura's route through the Northwest Passage
(photo courtesy of
I will continue to update the blog through this passage.  Be sure to check back to get updates about Martin's progress.