A gloomy day welcomed us into the Arctic, but aboard Detour
there was only excitement and celebration.
It is a huge achievement for any sailor to cross the Arctic Circle, at 66° 33' 39" N this is the northernmost, imaginary line of accomplishment. The Arctic Circle is the farthest south latitude where one can witness 24-hours of sunlight or 24-hours of darkness. We had raced to the Arctic with fellow Ocean Cruising Club (OCC) members to arrive just in time for the midnight sun; and we'd crossed that magic line on June 21st, the summer solstice, the only day the sun does not set on the Arctic Circle.
To earn the title of "Blue Nose" (aka Arctic Explorer) a sailor cannot simply cross the imaginary line, but most also partake in some wacky, traditional line crossing ceremony. Brian explained this ceremony in detail to his crew, "We're jumping into the water! It must be today, the day we crossed!" Conditions at the Arctic Circle did not enable us to dive overboard, so we waited until we reached our destination at Stott where conditions made docking atrocious but jumping overboard possible.
Here we go! ONE...
Fine dining at the only restaurant on the island was the next step to finalize our achievement (previously the general store and post office for this once fishing community, now restaurant and museum). We had a spectacular meal and shared in the celebration with our fellow sailors, many of whom had also just earned their Blue Noses! Josh and I leaned, however, that the other Captains were not so adamant about the polar plunge. Other versions of the ceremony involved hot showers and bottles of champagne!