I had gotten it into my head that once I arrived in Cape Bathurst, I would head directly to Cape Parry… In the blink of an eye and in one quick hop I’d be there. Yes, it was something I had imagined, but it was only just a dream! The reality of the situation turned out quite differently. While at Cape Bathurst, where I was waiting for the right moment to continue on my way, a white wall materialised before my eyes blocking my path—ice, as far as the eye could see, right where I wanted to go! Having had what I consider a little too much close-up experience with this recently, I decided against taking the ice head on and opted for heading down the coast trying to get around it from the south.
The only problem was I didn’t know where to find shelter along this coast if need be. And sure enough, a few hours after departing, the clouds rolled in, icy rain fell all day long and the storm-tossed sea made for hours of tiresome work. I dropped anchor at the base of the truly amazing Smoking Hills (I looked them up on the internet but I’ll admit that due to my state of fatigue, I won’t be able to give you an exact rendering). An event-filled stopover where, in addition to everything else, I almost lost my sleeping bag.
I had taken advantage of the rare sunshine to dry everything outside when a gust of wind, travelling down the hills sweeping everything away in its path, snatched my sleeping bag which it proceeded to drop into the sea… I gave it two seconds of thought, but after a small hesitation I dove into the water head first to retrieve it because this sleeping bag is not just a mere sleeping bag—it allows me to enjoy a bit of warmth in the heart of this icy, humid environment. Without it, I would almost certainly freeze during stopovers.
To make a long story short, the sleeping bag is back on board, I managed to dry it out as best I could, and to be honest, even though it’s damp and salty, it still feels wonderful to crawl inside! As for me, I didn’t even have time to realise just how icy cold the water was as I was obsessed with this rescue mission. Only once I was back on dry land did I realise that my teeth had been chattering without me being able to do anything about it! Hot coffee and a little magic box with a piece of hot coal inside that you keep close to your body (thank you Yves for this amazing gift which is never far from me)… and I was back to normal!
Before my next update, I still have a little ground to cover and I can only hope that the ice doesn’t get in my way!
I’ll be in touch very soon!