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Old 29-08-2013, 07:52   #46
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Re: Northwest Passage - Ice 2013

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Originally Posted by hpeer View Post
Evans,

Will you accompany the lovely Beth to the Annapolis gam?

Perhaps do a recap on what occurred this year?
I plan/hope to be there with Hawk. I am in Block Island right now, working my way south. Will hang here thru labor day and then look for the next northerly.

I (usually) don't "speak" at these things - there are enough 'experts' running around who are trying to make a living and want the speaking spots. But as a cruiser I will tell tall tales all night long in the cockpit, if rum is provided .

Quote:
Originally Posted by cwyckham View Post
My wife works up on the arctic coast near the area in question. She said there was less snow last winter and this may account for thicker sea ice (snow is an excellent insulator).
Interesting. If you/she remember, I would be most interested early next spring in what she has to say about the winter and the ice conditions (estarzinger at Hotmail.com).

For some reason, the boats have reported to me that the water temps up there have been about 5 degrees colder than normal this summer, which has (may have) apparently greatly decreased the melt rate.
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Old 29-08-2013, 08:09   #47
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Re: Northwest Passage - Ice 2013

Captain Morgan Tattoo
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Old 30-08-2013, 06:31   #48
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Re: Northwest Passage - Ice 2013

The season is at a balancing point, with the choke points getting a little better one day and a little worse the next.

Today the path west looks a little better, and just passable with mostly a clear channel along the shore and just a short block of 1-3/10 ice (which you can probably avoid using the shallow water back door route behind the island on the tip of Cape Barthurst. But there is heavier ice just north of Barthurst, just waiting for a northerly breeze to close it off.

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The route east looks a little worse, with the normal path to Resolute still firmly closed off and the route out of Bellot strait just barely passable with a very narrow path of 1-3/10 ice along the eastern shore, but there is a 5/10 ice tongue that has been moving across and may close it tomorrow.

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Old 30-08-2013, 10:41   #49
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Re: Northwest Passage - Ice 2013

Here is today's spot track from S/V ACALEPHE heading toward the west, toward the Bathurst ice plug. I have marked a few of the key spots to help Mark J .

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and here's the wind forecast for sept 2nd - which is not very attractive - 30kts on the nose and blowing the ice shut.

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Old 30-08-2013, 11:34   #50
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Interesting thread. Here is a link to a page with lots of other links on the bottom of blogs and websites for boats making the passage. Lots of interesting reading on this topic.


http://www.greygooseadventures.com/n...sage_boats.htm
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Old 31-08-2013, 07:01   #51
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Re: Northwest Passage - Ice 2013

Three west bound boats at anchor, waiting out the westerly's I mentioned yesterday. Because of the need to wait for ice and wind, this year's fleet has explored more new anchorages that I had not previously looked at. This one looks particularly nice. (note: cruising up here is 'old school', you pick your anchorages by looking at a chart and not by reading a cruising guide)

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Cape Bathurst is open now, but the westerly winds will certainty push the ice around, hopefully not closing it.

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Here is PolarBound's current location, heading toward Bellot straits. The exit from Bellot straits is closed, even to polarbound, with 5/10 ice.
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Old 31-08-2013, 11:58   #52
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I am throughly enjoying this thread. This is suspenseful and near realtime. Will they get stuck and have to spend a long cold winter? Hope not!! Will they make it through on time? This is arm chair sailing at its best!
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Old 01-09-2013, 07:01   #53
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Re: Northwest Passage - Ice 2013

Polar Bound going thru Bellot straits this morning.
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The channel is still ice plugged just above with, now with completely impassable 7-8/10 ice.
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But there is still 30kts of breeze forecast for the next couple days from various directions. This will definitely move the ice around, but its hard to predict for the better or worse.

The west bound boats are still (today & I would guess also tomorrow) snug at anchor.
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Old 01-09-2013, 12:42   #54
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Re: Northwest Passage - Ice 2013

Evans,

Is there a general thought among NWP captains that they always face a "pretty good possibility" that they will have to abandon and lose their boats?

Or is the mentality more positive about the outcome? ("we are NOT losing our boat, no matter what")

Steve
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Old 01-09-2013, 13:54   #55
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Originally Posted by Panope View Post
Evans,

Is there a general thought among NWP captains that they always face a "pretty good possibility" that they will have to abandon and lose their boats?

Or is the mentality more positive about the outcome? ("we are NOT losing our boat, no matter what")

Steve
Not sure I can completely answer that question.

The last few years, the NWP became a "doodle", basically just a long dull motor (I am overstating that a bit) and there was little thoughts of being stuck in the ice and losing the boat. Except I would say that the smart high latitude captains are always aware of potential threats - hitting a growler at night has always been a serious concern, even in the light ice years.

It is clear that after some light ice years that generally people are taking the NWP much less seriously.

Prior to 2002 and this year there was always the concern/thought of getting trapped. The ice is very scary. There are few more powerful forces in the world. Any skipper with an imagination (or sense of history) will realize it can crack open almost any hull given the wrong situation.

But the skippers are all very unique individuals and its hard/impossible for me to generalize their attitude.
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Old 01-09-2013, 14:30   #56
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Re: Northwest Passage - Ice 2013

I always thought the final photos taken of Shackleton's ship illustrated the power of ice rather convincingly.

Steve
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Old 02-09-2013, 08:08   #57
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Re: Northwest Passage - Ice 2013

Breezy headwinds continuing to blow today, with snow falling. Two (west bound) boats dragged at anchor last night.
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This wind is moving the ice in the wrong direction (down toward Cape Bathurst) at 6nm/day (I have circled the movement arrows).
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But in two days, on the 4th, there is forecast breezy winds from the other direction (again with snow), which should push the ice back and create fast sailing. This will be the window of opportunity to get around Cape Bathurst. It looks favorable.
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I don't have any update from the east bound yachts.
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Old 03-09-2013, 17:44   #58
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Re: Northwest Passage - Ice 2013

I wasn't aware of this issue until I found this link an aviation forum.

Sail-World.com : North West Passage blocked with ice - yachts caught

Then I came looking here on this forum. This is scary stuff. I wish all those affected good fortune. I found this thread very interesting to follow & will continue to do so.
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Old 03-09-2013, 19:09   #59
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Re: Northwest Passage - Ice 2013

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Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post
Breezy headwinds continuing to blow today, with snow falling. Two (west bound) boats dragged at anchor last night.
Attachment 66356

This wind is moving the ice in the wrong direction (down toward Cape Bathurst) at 6nm/day (I have circled the movement arrows).
Attachment 66357

But in two days, on the 4th, there is forecast breezy winds from the other direction (again with snow), which should push the ice back and create fast sailing. This will be the window of opportunity to get around Cape Bathurst. It looks favorable.
Attachment 66358

I don't have any update from the east bound yachts.
Dumb question - what is the maximum cover to make safe progress - 3/10?
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Old 05-09-2013, 02:20   #60
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Re: Northwest Passage - Ice 2013

I am at sea (block to Annapolis) but just a quick update . . . Several of the west bound boats got around Cape Bathurst (the last major ice plug) going thru 2-4/10 ice in tricky conditions. One boat was then driven aground, crew lifted off, boat to be towed off later.

East bound boats all seem to be waiting. The ice charts show a clear route, but I am guessing it is not so clear in fact.
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