On 24 July, Que Sera left the coast of Greenland for Pond Inlet in Canada. This is the first stage on the way to the Northwest Passage. The decision to go further north in the Baffin Sea was the right one. Free of ice, the crossing went smoothly. In the north, the days are eternal at this time of year, making navigation much easier.
Five days later, the crew reached the entrance to the channel leading to Pond Inlet. They faced their first major obstacle: an immense ice floe blocking access to the Inuit community. Patience is the key to polar navigation. You have to wait for the ice to evacuate slowly. A narwhal came to greet the boat as it stopped, and a polar bear walked in the distance, on the wild lands of Nunavut.
On 1st August, the crew made their first attempt to reach Pond Inlet. They turned back after around twenty nautical miles, as the ice was too thick to navigate. A daily routine set in: consulting the ice charts and weather forecasts. The slightest opportunity is worth taking.
A window of opportunity opened up 3 days later. Early in the morning, the crew, who had been stuck for a week, set off towards Pond Inlet. The pack ice had opened up and Que Sera was slipping through a fine channel of open water. On land, Alexis and Paul, who have been waiting since last Friday, are asked to guide and welcome the boat. Behind them, the track closes in, condemning the ephemeral passage opened a dozen hours earlier.
A change of crew. Maria and the artist Katharina leave the boat. Antoine replaces the crew. Paul, a student at the UNIGE, replaces Maria, and Alexis will be the professional mediaman for this passage of the NW. A few days later, Jessica and Okalik from the ‘Beyond Her Horizons’ team joined the crew.
On 9 August, the team was on the move and on the lookout for a potential exit to the west of Bylot Island to reach Lancaster Sound. An opportunity presented itself, as several boats followed the fisheries surveillance boat, which had opened up a route that was still impassable the day before. Que Sera was one of them.
Today, the boat is making good speed, with the small town of Cambridge Bay as its next target. The crew is now in the NW Passage, and conditions look ideal for what lies ahead.
See you soon for another follow-up to the Arctic expedition!