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Old 11-08-2019, 09:07   #1
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NWP 2019 Revisited

Interesting (at least to me) that when I checked out "MarineTraffic.com" that I see maybe 10 boats trying for the East - West passage but no boats trying the West - East passage. Does anyone know a reason for this or is it just coincidence.

Most are holding in Lancaster Sound for the moment although there may be some movement this morning (Aug. 11, 19) and there are several boats still in Baffin Bay heading west.

I've been following Randall Reeves on his "Figure 8 Voyage" and he has now left Pond Inlet and is entering the passage between Bylot and Baffin Islands.

Does anyone have links to other passage makers on the NWP journey?
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Old 11-08-2019, 17:22   #2
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Re: NWP 2019 Revisited

The “clogs” of wind-blown ice pack tend to form in the tighter channels at the eastern end. (That’s where Franklin’s Expedition: HMS Terror and Erebus, got stuck.) Anyone setting out Eastbound now could get stuck in September/October when things start to cool off again. Boats going West will have transited the tight sections in mid-summer, when the ice was out, and should have less trouble further West.
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Old 12-08-2019, 04:14   #3
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Re: NWP 2019 Revisited

Quote:
Originally Posted by psk125 View Post
The “clogs” of wind-blown ice pack tend to form in the tighter channels at the eastern end. (That’s where Franklin’s Expedition: HMS Terror and Erebus, got stuck.) Anyone setting out Eastbound now could get stuck in September/October when things start to cool off again. Boats going West will have transited the tight sections in mid-summer, when the ice was out, and should have less trouble further West.
Excellent explanation - clear & concise.
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Old 12-08-2019, 05:25   #4
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Re: NWP 2019 Revisited

On Marine Traffic there is some movement but it's interesting that there is a boat labelled "Tugs and Special Craft" leading a "Passenger Vessel" and a "Pleasure Craft" all in the passage West of Somerset Island. I don't have all the information because I haven't paid for the commercial version of Marine Traffic but I assume the one leading is an ice breaker.

There are two boats, one anchored in the passage west of Bylot Island and the other turned back and is anchored at Crooked Island. One of them is Randal Reeves on Moli and the other is Alioth, but I'm not sure which is which.

Edit: it is Moli that is near the North end of Bylot Island.
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Old 14-08-2019, 06:54   #5
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Re: NWP 2019 Revisited

It appears that the first "Pleasure Craft" has made it through the ice bottleneck with 3 more vessels following.

Randall Reeves is still anchored at Bylot Island where he has been for some time now. There is very little news being posted on his web site and facebook page and what is posted is quite delayed.
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Old 15-08-2019, 08:17   #6
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Re: NWP 2019 Revisited

It looks like we finally have a late comer on the West to East Passage but it is still in the Chukchi Sea west of Alaska.
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Old 16-08-2019, 20:39   #7
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Re: NWP 2019 Revisited

One boat on the East/West passage has made it through to Cambridge Bay, two west of King William Island with about 100 nm to Cambridge, three west of Somerset Island in Peel Sound and one south of the Bellot Strait in Franklin Strait. There are also three more heading west, in Lancaster Sound and two at or just leaving Arctic Bay.

The lone "pleasure vessel" heading West to East is now in the Beaufort Sea, NW of Prudhoe Bay. It seems to be making good time.
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Old 18-08-2019, 16:27   #8
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Re: NWP 2019 Revisited

At least 3 boats have made it to Cambridge Bay and the leader has now left, heading west.

Randall Reeves has left an anchorage in False Strait, just north of Bellot Strait. There is quite a lot of ice in that area of Peel Sound so it must be rough going.

The vessel heading towards the passage from the west is now east of Tuktoyaktuk and is heading for the entrance to Amundson Sound.
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Old 20-08-2019, 19:45   #9
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Re: NWP 2019 Revisited

This in Randall's daily blog: Just a quick note to report that Mo is through the ice and sailing fast on a N wind for Cambridge Bay, 235 miles SW.

I have been pushing to get to Alioth’s position for two days. She has a busted gear box and can’t make more than three knots under power. She has been hove to at the head of our last major ice plug waiting for an escort as she’d have to sail through, a tricky business.

We’ve all been sweating bullets over this last 30 miles of ice, and for four days I’ve been underway and hand steering for 18 to 20 hours a day through 3 – 5/10ths ice to get here. Only a few hours sleep a night this last week.

As it turns out, today was a piece of cake. We saw huge ice floes the size of city blocks but with wide lanes in between. Alioth and another boat, Mandregore, sailed downwind without trouble with Mo bringing up the rear under power just in case.

The first boat is out of the Amundson Gulf and into the Beaufort Sea. The second boat has left Cambridge Bay and is heading west. There is one boat anchored, I believe, west of Cambridge Bay and another at Cambridge Bay. The three boats mentioned in Randall's post are abreast of Taylor Island and are making good time. There are still 2 boats working their way through the ice field in Peel Sound.

Randall's blog is at: Blog – The Figure 8 Voyage
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Old 23-08-2019, 13:13   #10
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Re: NWP 2019 Revisited

Everybody is hunkered down up in the Canadian Archipelago.

This from Randall Reeves blog:
Quote:
The barometer has been falling slowly but without hesitation for three days. It’s high was 1024mb, and as I type, it reads 985.5mb with no sign of finding bottom. By way of suggesting that such a fall must presage apocalypse, the ice guide, Victor Wejer, sent out a general blast to local boats earlier today. “Sub 970 low over Canadian Arctic by Friday afternoon is in record territory. Expect storm and major meltdown,” he wrote.

So, I’m relieved to be successfully done with the tow but am more relieved that we did it. Now we have a chance at safety.
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Old 23-08-2019, 14:21   #11
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Re: NWP 2019 Revisited

Good stuff, DeepFrz, keep it coming.


Cheers,
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Old 23-08-2019, 15:29   #12
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Re: NWP 2019 Revisited

Thanks Joe and Sue.
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Old 24-08-2019, 08:11   #13
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Re: NWP 2019 Revisited

So, the 3rd boat of the season is making its way through the Amundson Gulf while the second looks to be into the Beaufort Sea. I believe that the first boat to make it through is at Unalaska already although because I don't have the commercial version of Marine Traffic I can't be sure its the same boat.

There are still 5 boats at Cambridge Bay and 2 hunkered down on King William Island. There is also one sheltering at Devon Island so it still has a long way to go.

Winds are looking favorable for Departure from Cambridge Bay, according to Windy.
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Old 26-08-2019, 14:45   #14
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Re: NWP 2019 Revisited

Randall has left Cambridge Bay and seems to be pacing a cargo vessel of some kind although he is only making about 4.6 kts. on his way west. Looking at Windy and Earth null school it appears he will have some heavy slogging to do this next week.

One other boat is just leaving Cambridge Bay.
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Old 26-08-2019, 19:27   #15
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Re: NWP 2019 Revisited

Two others have followed from Cambridge Bay leaving two or three still there. One boat has left Gjoa Haven heading west as well.
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