The two Arctic voyages we've been following closely this summer have both come to a premature conclusion. Discussions about that have spawned a debate about how much ice there actually is in the Northwest Passage through the Canadian Arctic Archipelago this year, and whether the passage is or will be navigable this year without the assistance of an icebreaker. The main route through the Parry Channel and McClure Strait certainly looks as though it will remain impassable, but what of the southern route? A few days ago I found myself engaged in a heated discussion on Facebook (now sadly consigned to the great memory hole in the sky) with someone who insisted there was lots of ice in Dease Strait because RadarSat showed it to be there! To start with today, here's how the AMSR2 sensor sees things from space at the moment, courtesy of the University of Hamburg:
More on The Northwest Passage in 2013
Over the last few days both the Arctic expeditions we've been following since the beginning of July announced that they were abandoning their voyages before reaching their planned destinations. Although it doesn't seem to have been published on their web site yet, Séb Roubinet and Vincent Berthet on Babouchka have just abandoned their "Quest Through The Pole". According to their "La voie du pôle" Facebook page (and translated from the original French):
More on Arctic Voyages 2013 – Update 2
If you recall, the Arctic Joule is a boat that is currently being rowed from Inuvik in northern Canada through the Canadian Arctic Archipelago to Pond Inlet on the north of Baffin Island by a team of four intrepid adventurers, including Kevin Vallely. Earlier this evening I had a long conversation with Kevin, courtesy of the wonders of a satellite telephone. Kevin was in the Arctic Joule's cabin with Frank Wolf, whilst Paul Gleeson and Denis Barnett were rowing. I was sat in an armchair in England!
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