Fiona arrived in Cambridge Bay in fine "shirtsleeve" weather Tuesday evening, just in time for Happy Hour. Sprague Theobald and Chauncey Tanton from the M/V Bagan boarded for drinks and interviews with Fiona's crew. Sprague, an Emmy award winning filmmaker, is producing what he hopes will be a multi-part TV series on the Northwest Passage and the 2009 season in particular.
Bagan and Fiona are two of the ten vessels attempting the Northwest Passage in 2009.
Fiona is watering and fueling. She will depart on Thursday. Russ, meanwhile, has reached the end of his Fiona saga. He needed to complete his trip before the 7th of September. The earliest Fiona could reach Nome will be September 9th or 10th, too late for Russ to meet his schedule. So, he flew out of Cambridge Bay (using the gravel runway) Wednesday afternoon on a Canadian North 737.
Dease Straits, right off Cambridge Bay, is where Roald Amundsen, coming from the east, first saw the whale ship Charles Hanson, Capt. James McKenna, coming from the west - from the Pacific - back in 1906. "'Vessel in sight, sir!' With that meeting I knew I had done it. The Northwest Passage was complete," wrote Amundsen. The meeting of vessels proved the passage was possible. In Russ' case, he met his first eastbound vessel, Ocean Watch, Capt. Mark Shrader, in Gjoa Haven four days ago.