After our exciting days with orcas and narwhals, the Arctic sent us a reminder of where we are: 40-45 knots wind started to blow 2 days ago, well exactly 60 hours ago!
We left the film team in Pond Inlet on the 15th for some work ashore, and Arctic Tern looked for shelter to weather the gale: Guys Bight! Waiting at anchorage when it is windy outside is a very simple task: You stand your anchor watch for 3 hours every 6 hours – foul weather gear from head to toe in case you need to rush outside, and ready to wake up the crew should anything go wrong. You eat, and you rest. Add a couple of little maintenance and repair projects, and you get the whole picture!
But, easier said than done! When it’s blowing that hard, it is difficult to really sleep deeply. Instead, you’re only ever half asleep, expecting “the call”. You lie a bunk, mostly dressed in case you’re called, you prepare different plans in case, your boots-gloves-hat are all ready in a precise corner in case, etc. We ended up in a very precise rhythm for 2 days and a half, not caring of whether this is day or night, whether it was a respectable time to eat or not, whether the outside world was ok or not. The only question is “when will this wind die?”… and as usual, our captain had his answer “in 2 days!”…always in 2 days it seems!
Those anchor watches have a mystical quality, though: you end up being by yourself on a very silent (and sometimes sleepy!) boat, using candle light, listening to the wind blowing outside, letting your thoughts go wherever they feel like. A little more and we could probably hear the wind whispering at us the answer to our question “when will it finally end?”…