Yachts tend to head to Arctic regions during the summer months, and therefore, experience the phenomena of the midnight sun. To avoid having your body clock completely thrown off track by the constant sunlight, you should set a time to close all the deadlights and curtains on board.
The area is relatively uncharted and potentially very dangerous, so I highly recommend taking a local guide and some spare propellers for the tenders.
Fog can roll in suddenly and things can get hazardous very quickly. I found keeping a graph to plot the trend of surface temperature against dew point extremely helpful in predicting when to expect fog.
The Arctic is renowned for strong katabatic winds. These winds also come relatively unexpectedly. When choosing an anchorage, stay away from ice fields as these can be pushed upon you very quickly and cause some panic.
Foul weather gear is of the utmost importance. Gloves are lifesavers, especially when operating davit controls and driving tenders. The windchill when moving drops the temperature well below the freezing point and takes the feeling out of your hands.
Try to avoid pushing icebergs away from the mother ship with tenders. Icebergs can crumble or flip without warning. The majority of the iceberg is underwater, so when it flips it could very well damage the tender.
Arctic wildlife is beautiful, but you must respect the animals and give them space — especially polar bears!
Chief Officer Wesley Walton has been working on yachts for almost a decade and recently earned his 3000 GT Master’s License.
Check out how to prepare for a trip to Antartica here and how to prepare for The Northwest Passage here.