Last First

September 1, 2013

Arctic Voyages 2013 – Update 2

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):

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July 27, 2013

Arctic Voyages 2013 – Update 1

Although their "Trip Tracker" doesn't reflect this as yet, the Mainstream Last First expedition have just reported on their Facebook page that the Arctic Joule is currently:

Beached at Dew Line Station under the Arctic eagle's watch

at Cape Parry. They've also posted a picture of themselves rowing in the Arctic twilight:

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July 21, 2013

A Storm is Brewing in the Arctic

Here at econnexus.org we're used to tracking hurricanes, but so far there's been a fairly quiet start to the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season. The strongest tropical storm so far has been Andrea, whose winds reached a maximum speed of 65 mph (100 km/h) around a minimum central pressure of 992 mbar. The National Hurricane Centre currently reports "No tropical cyclones at this time" for both the Eastern Pacific and the North Atlantic. Despite that an "extra-tropical" cyclone looks like it's on its way next week, far to the north of both those oceans.

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July 17, 2013

The Arctic Joule Calling

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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July 6, 2013

The Arctic Joule Races Towards the Beaufort Sea

I first met Kevin Vallely in a rather unusual location for both of us. The British Ambassador's residence in Oslo! We were both holding a small glass of red wine, and started talking about Arctic sea ice. We agreed it was disappearing quickly, and Kevin assured me that he "wasn't crazy enough to try and walk to the North Pole" this year. He did however explain to me a bit more about his plan to row through the Northwest Passage, which he had earlier explained to the delegates attending the Economist Arctic Summit. He assured me that he and three companions would attempt to row through the Canadian Arctic Archipelago in "the last world first!". They were planning to start on July 1st 2013, rowing in teams of two for 24 hours a day, for about 75 days.

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