Two blogs from Ben this morning celebrating reaching the half way point!

8.30am: Hello, today I would like to start my blog with a quick word expressing my feelings.  Ahem, WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!  We’re done!  We’re done with the North East Passage!  We’re half the world away from home and we’ve finished the North East Passage!  We’ve done it, we’re the first British boat to have done this!  We’re doing eight knots over the ground, we’ll reach Barrow tomorrowish and then we’ll start on the North West and we’re done!  We’re done!  We’re done we’re done we’re done we’re done we’re done we’re done!  I’ll talk more later but the laptop’s almost out of charge so I have to go, We’re done!  YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!

8.57am: We’re over half way there! six o’clock this morning we passed one hundred and eighty degree mark and are now in the western hemisphere!  WHOOOOOOOO!  I’d just come off watch so when we passed it. It’s really nice now to be able to think that I’ve already done more than I’ve got to go.  While we haven’t found that elusive west to east current we do now have good winds and are doing up to eight point five knots over the ground.  At this rate we’ll get to Point Barrow late tomorrow and then we’re off through the North west passage.  To my mind the North East Passage finishes with the international date line.  Almost over, almost over, just another few hours.  Because of this and because anyone about my age will be going back to school in a couple of days I’ll try and say a little more than usual. To anyone going back to school, I am somewhat ambivalent about being here and not there, on the one hand this is an amazing experience through which I’m trying to do some good (ACT, WWW) and I don’t have as much schoolwork as you do.  On the other hand, the trip is difficult and at sometimes very uncomfortable, missing school means I’ll have a lot of catching up to do when I get back, I’m doing no exercise whatsoever so I’ll be really unfit when I get back and while this is not meant to sound like a whinge I didn’t know any of the other crew except The Mother before this trip and the youngest of them is still over twice my age and we don’t speak the same language.  I think it’s worth it.  To anyone who’s interested in Wicked Weather Watch, the North West Passage thawed so quickly this year we’d have been better of going west first. It was basically open by the time we reached the V Strait.  Also, Gill, the head of WWW is running a half marathon for us in a few days time (4th Sept), wish her luck.  In the meantime tomorrow, when we pass the date line, we’ll have to repeat a day.  Which means I have to wait a extra day for christmas, aww.  I’ll write to you when we get there, bye.

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