This last week has been full of bench marks, plus trails and tribulations. We crossed the northern coast of Spitsbergen island and its three major fjords with amazing weather and flat seas, we reached 80 degrees north and the northern tip of Spitsbergen, we rounded into the Hinlopenstretet and laid eyes on the coast of Nordaustlandet on the other side(our big challenge to come). Though we did not get all this way without one big incident………we could not find our food cache for an entire 24 hours.
On the 12th of July 2015 we pulled into Polheim bay near the Polheim hut, we had organized our food drop to be laid on a peninsula here. As we clambered out of our kayaks and on to shore. We where excited to be at this stage, we didn’t yet need food (we still carried 30 days in our kayaks) though this location was chosen for a number of reasons, one of them being we knew the area would be sea ice free. However we could not find the cache after an hour of looking, so we resigned to go set up camp eat sleep and return in the morning. This we did and the next day lead to PG and I paddling for about 8 hours all over the bay to other hut locations looking for possible cache sites, as we had not been given a geocache reference and had been told it would be obviously seen near the hut some 500meters away. Well to make a long story short, after some 12 hours and 3 sat phone calls later, we discovered the cache was actually 10kms north of our agreed spot.
Thankfully we eventually did locate the cache, and then the fun began. Due to ice still blocking our path around Nordaustlandet island, we decided we would spend a week relocating our food cache to the south of the Hinlopenstretet, originally we planned to paddle back up to the cache after going around Nordaustlandet, though now we has time to kill so we would move it. Easier said than done of course. First we re packed out boats and left 30 days of supplies in sealed dry bags buried at the original Cache location, then we packed the rest of the supplies into our kayak and strapped the 2 x 115 liter barrels on the back of our kayaks and headed off on our interlude adventure. (To be continued)
Sleeping in the run down hut and too tired to care!