Archive for the ‘Planning’ Category

Where is Sitka?

Thursday, September 18th, 2008

Will it ever end??? Tonight we were looking over the map and thinking: where is Sitka? Well it’s the lonely little red pin South and East where the boat is now. And yes: Kip, Walt, Scott and Raime should be in Sitka in a little over a week. (NOTE: Geraldine is NOT in Sitka)

Ice Status Report

Monday, June 30th, 2008

I spoke with the Arctic Regional Operations Center in Sarnia, Ontario again this afternoon. They’ve replaced the 2008 “Ice Guy”…the new guy is Howard Kearley. I sent him all the information that I had sent to Jean Ouellet in May. Here are some of the things we talked about…

  • They don’t know of anyone else who is transiting the Passage this summer (but that doesn’t mean there won’t be any others. It just means that they don’t know about the others).
  • They said that one sailboat wintered over in the Passage, probably in Tuktoyaktuk.
  • They have two icebreakers stationed at the southern end of Baffin Island right now. It’s not clear yet whether they will try to open up Fury & Hecla Strait early.
  • One icebreaker is on its way in from the West Coast. They are focusing on the southern Arctic right now then they’ll deal with the high Arctic later.
  • By the time we get into the Passage, they will have six icebreakers in various locations along our route.
  • They said that the ice is “moving out fairly fast” this year (very good news!)

They had asked us to contact NORDREG (the Marine Communications Traffic Services Centre in Iqaluit) as soon as we get above 60 degrees. I have NORDREG’s phone number and I’m going to speak with them live tomorrow morning. Those are the people that we will actually be talking to on the SSB radio while we’re running. I want them to know us before we radio in for the first time.

I’m pumped. My juices are flowing. Killer picture of GERALDINE at anchor on the website.

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It was 63 degrees in Cambridge Bay this afternoon! I’m packing my shorts. 63 degrees and Pizza Hut pizza — it doesn’t get any better than that!

Routes we’re considering

Friday, June 20th, 2008

I had dinner with Kip and Walt at the Airport Diner in Manchester last night, complete with ’50s music in the background and Canadian pork pie with gravy! It doesn’t get any better than that!

I have posted the three proposed routes that I’ve put together for our passage at a new page on the site. I’ve included a map of each possible route.  Also, I’ll try to find a map with the route that Roald Amundsen took with Gjøa when he made the first successful transit of the Northwest Passage by boat in 1903-1906.

Northwest Passage Ice Forecast

Tuesday, June 17th, 2008

Here is a website I found that provides daily satellite views…although with only moderate resolution. Still, it’s very interesting to note the following as of today:

  • There’s a strange piece of water that is wide open due east of Fury & Hecla Strait while Foxe Basin and the Gulf of Boothia are still solid ice
  • Fury & Hecla is starting to darken up a little
  • You can see that Peel Sound is opening up very rapidly
  • Point Barrow is still very solid
  • Disko Bay (and the entire Greenland Coast) is completely open
  • Very interestingly, Prince of Wales Strait is starting to get very dark already. This could still be a possibility for us (express route!)

Northwest Passage Satellite Image

If you click on this image, it will take to you an updated shot of the ice as of today!


I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go — Genesis 28:15