September 29, 2013

Tara Reaches the Open Waters of Lancaster Sound

According to the Tara Expeditions web site:

Tara is a legendary boat built for extreme conditions.

We last heard of her from Vincent Berthet, who along with Sébastian Roubinet unexpectedly boarded Tara in Pevek, Russia before sailing in her across the Chukchi Sea and then disembarking in Tuktoyaktuk, Canada. Tara then continued from Tuk, sailing along the southern route of the Northwest Passage. In the latest news from Tara this morning, the expedition web site announced:

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September 4, 2013

The Northwest Passage in 2013

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:

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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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