An Arctic Voyage


Two weeks ago we tied to the same wharf that we left here in Charleston on April 1st—an appropriate date when you consider that our summer consisted of:

  • Eight months.
  • Eighty degrees of latitude (40 each way).
  • Ten thousand miles, give or take a few.
  • About thirty pounds of weight loss (15 pounds each).
  • Twenty-five nights or so at sea, which is really very few (due to being in icy waters most of the time), considering the distance.
  • About 300 watches each, most of them cold.

All in all, it was a wonderful cruise to some of the most amazing and beautiful places in the world.

Thank You, My Love

JHH5II-11704Thank you, Phyllis. No skipper could have a better first mate at sea and no man a more wonderful partner in life.

Well Done, Old Girl

JHH5II-11446Well done Morgan’s Cloud, for keeping us safe and comfortable in challenging conditions and going the whole way without a a gear failure caused delay, or in fact, any significant problems at all. (We will be writing more about that in an “Artic Gear Test” coming soon.)

Thank You, Delivery Crews

JHH5II-10380Thanks, Dave and Shelly—northbound crew, Newfoundland to Greenland.

JHH5II-12512Thanks, Hannah—southbound crew, Greenland to Labrador, via Baffin Island.

Supremely competent mariners, great shipmates, and now dear friends, all three.

Thank You, Chief Scientist

JHH5II-11364OK, only scientist. Thanks Grete, for putting the project together that made the whole cruise possible and all the interesting stuff about the Arctic peoples that you shared with us.

Thank You, Konrad

JHH5II-11338Thanks, Konrad, for cheerfully taking many a long cold ice watch while we caught up on sleep.

Thank You, Val and Veryan

JHH5II-12534Thanks Val and Veryan for your companionship in Labrador and sharing your encyclopedic knowledge of the place. And how did I manage to not get a photo of Val?

It Feels So Good When You Stop

JHH5II-13924And now it feels really good to stop for a while.

More To Come

Over the winter, we will be writing more about the cruise. There may even be a book of photographs with a bit of text, maybe as an e-book, if we get around to it—we are not committing to any major projects for a while!

{ 12 comments… add one }

  • Mick December 12, 2011, 7:37 pm

    You’re right John, it is nice to stop but how quickly the thoughts turn to the horizon, the familiar and comfortable way of life at sea…It’ll soon be April!

    • John December 14, 2011, 1:07 pm

      Hi Mick,

      Yikes, April, so soon!?

  • Hans December 13, 2011, 5:26 am

    Phyllis and John,

    and THANK YOU for sharing your wealth of knowledge and experience with your readership as a whole as well as with individiual sailors like me.
    Have a very nice and relaxed Christmas !
    If we’ll meet up in NF next year, there’ll be some marzipan waiting for you.

  • richard December 13, 2011, 9:10 am

    my experience is that the boat’s performance is a direct function of the amount of attention and use she has regardless of her age…consistent use is the ideal…next best is consistent productive attention while slip bound including at least some limited use such as at least some half-day outings as often as feasibly possible…let’s just say boats are in the high maintenance category yet the rewards they can then provide are at least worth it if not more so…richard in tampa bay (m/v cavu’s skipper…formerly s/v sidra’s skipper)

    • John December 14, 2011, 1:07 pm

      Hi Richard,

      A very good point: In some ways, the more you use a boat the easier it is too keep her in good shape.

  • David Nutt December 13, 2011, 10:12 am

    Wets my appetite! Excited to be headed back north ourselves summer 2012.

  • Victor Raymond December 13, 2011, 10:34 am

    Dear John and Phyllis
    Your are our inspiration to get out there and do it. And do it right. We may not have the best boat. It may take a few years to get it in perfect shape (very elusive.) We certainly don’t have the technical knowledge and experience that the majority of the readers, writers and commentors on this site have. However with your inspiration, your technical guidance and expertise my first mate and I feel we too can do it having fun and neither hurting our selves or the boat excessively. And Colin certainly should be included in this big thank you. Without your insights who knows what further flounderings we might subjected ourselves to.
    And John, let us not forget your visual poetry which may have contributed more than anything to the strong desire to experience the natural beauty of our Mother Earth from a watery perspective. .
    Thank you, thank you, thank you.
    Victor Raymond
    S/V Rajah Laut (king of the sea in Malay)
    Meta Dalu 47 (fitted out by Peter Smith)
    Cruised for 20 years and 70,000 miles by her previous owner

  • Vlad&Natalya December 13, 2011, 1:33 pm

    Thank you guys for sharing your adventures, insights and imagery – what a great site! We are counting months till we can cast off and get some experience in living aboard/cruising. We have a Crealock37 that is presently landlocked on the lake near Atlanta and are counting months till we can cast off and get some experience in living aboard/cruising. For now we complement our lake crossings with musing about future cruising. Your site kind of opens a window for us from our “Truman Show” into the real life. Keep updating and sharing your experience, thank you!

    Best regards,

    Vlaad & Natalya

  • conny Harlin December 13, 2011, 6:27 pm

    Thank you , for all articles and info about your voyages , I’m following with interest your life out there. Have a wonderful christmas and happy new year. Hope to see you some time in the future.

  • Doug Bruce December 14, 2011, 12:32 am

    Enjoyed your lovel;y compliments to many deserving people, especially your good words for Phyllis, followed by the heading, “Well Done, Old Girl.”

    I know, I know … that was meant for the boat, but it got a good laugh up here in Maine. Must mean your editorial advisor is off the boat!

    Cheers! Doug & Dale

    • John December 14, 2011, 1:08 pm

      Watch out, I have pictures of you guys too, and there is always photoshop!

  • John December 14, 2011, 1:05 pm

    Thank very much for all the kind comments. Warm thoughts from our readers and friends, such as these, are a lot of the reason we keep writing.


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