We expected a short 3-day layover in Nome to provision, add crew and fuel up before sailing for Barrow. But as we approached Nome, strong northerly winds pressed sea ice onto the coast east of Barrow, blocking our path around the corner. After 18 days tied up to Nome's pier, it felt like DogBark! – and the rest of us – had grown roots. Every day we studied the ice charts and weather reports, hoping for a strip of blue, indicating clear water, between the shore and the red and orange blobs representing thick ice. Several times, the forecast looked promising enough to set a tentative departure time and get ready to go, complete with provisioning, filling water tanks and stowing gear. Each time, something would hold us up – a new piece of advice, a challenging wind forecast, an unimproved ice report. But finally! The ice had retreated from Barrow (though our path was still choked up about 200 nm east of Barrow) and the weather forecast looked docile.