17 August 2006
11 July: Lorient, France, 16 August: Tiksi, Northern Siberia, after 35 days, 5000 nautical miles, 3 capes (Finistere in France, North Cape in Norway and Chelyuskin in Russia), 7 seas (Atlantic, English Channel, North Sea, Norwegian Sea, Barents Sea, Kara and Laptev Seas), 4 stopovers (Oslo, Tromso, Mourmansk, Tiksi). During this first part of our expedition we have overcome many challenges, however, working consistently as a team we have continued to prepare both ourselves and Tara for our upcoming drift in the Arctic.
Our last few days at sea since Cape Chelyuskin have passed much like the rest since Mourmansk, albeit with heightened excitement for our arrival in Tiksi. Little wind and calm conditions allowed us to make an easy landing in Tiksi harbour.
However, for now our minds are turned to the coming few days in our last port of call before two years in the high Arctic Ocean. Early this afternoon, shortly after fastening the mooring lines, we had the pleasure of receiving an official welcome from the people of the Sakha Republic. Adorned in traditional robes, singing and offering food and drinks provided an unexpected but appreciated reception. Although delivered in a language we did not understand, the smiles, warm handshakes and heartfelt speeches conveyed all of the sentiment. With such a welcome we are looking forward to our stop of one week where we will undertake provisioning and preparation for the final push north.
Best wishes from us all