Saw a tug (a kind of small boat) on the AIS. Nikolay says there are a lot of submarine manoeuvres in this area. Only boat I have seen since leaving Murmansk – different to Solent sailing!

Crew all good. Got a little cold last night with the cloud layer. So first thermals on. Still working on fuel and water figures on a daily basis.

In Russia everything stops from Friday afternoon to Monday morning. So we will get an ice update on Tuesday and Thursday. Lets see if much has changed from the last set. Having said that, the Canadians update approx every Tues – just once a week!

Not sure if it’s because we are getting closer to land, but we seem to have lot more wildlife. Dolphins still, another whale, and this morning seals popping up. Sea gulls of different varieties, we need Bob Wilson here to name them all. We had a sea gull perched on our bow for my entire 4 hour watch, poohing on Ben’s mascots. Other sea gulls seem very jealous of this free ride, and several have swooped down to dislodge it.

It reminds me of the small petrel we saw at the North Pole in 1998, with Rune Geljednes. We had one days ski to go to reach our target after 60 days skiing. For the first time ever, this bird lands next to our tent. We took it in, fed it, watered it, and it flew off the next day. We reached the North Pole. It was good Karma, and I hope this sea gull does the same.

Ben is a very bright young man, and he let me sleep through my down time, but he is also very inquisitive which I find refreshing in a young person. I do feel sorry for him with a group of older people all around him talking rubbish 95% of the time. Don’t even mention Brexit, Americas special relationship or the Russian economy !!!

By David Hempleman-Adams. Expedition Leader.  Sunday 24th July. 8am.