Rescue Me! Another polar expedition trapped in ice

Gosh, this is becoming a theme. Intrepid sailors/hikers/tourists/scientists/ecologists head for the Arctic with intent to show the world how the Arctic is melting, get stuck in/on the ice, or hopelessly battered, and end up needing rescue by those evil fossil fuel belching rescue ships, helicopters, and planes.

http://www.yachtfiona.com/collage.jpg

Our latest episode: Yatch Fiona

Last night, 16 Aug, we got hopelessly trapped by the ice. Despite a favorable ice report we encountered 8/10ths ice, with many old, i.e. large, bergs. We spent the night tied to one of them but had to leave this morning when another ‘berg collided with us and tipped Fiona over. We got away but the space around us is shrinking. I called the Canadian Coast Guard at noon and they are sending an icebreaker, due here tomorrow. We are NOT in immediate danger.

I hate it when that happens.

Reading this guy’s website http://www.yachtfiona.com/

I’m not really sure what his mission is, except perhaps publicity, boat funding, and selling DVD’s.

His current shtick does seem to be connected to the Green Ocean Race. They write:

The purpose of the GOR is to publicize two things:

1. Within a generation or two the world will have to learn how to get by without fossil fuels.

2. The result need not be the social and political chaos predicted by some thinkers and writers, technical solutions are in sight.

The means to achieve the publicity will be a transoceanic race for sailboats, possibly power boats, in which all energy consumed on board will be generated on board. The publicity surrounding the race will emphasize that the boats are alone in the vastness of the ocean, rather like the earth sailing through space in a few decades. The crew will enjoy all the comforts of home by utilizing the energy available from the ocean and the sun. The preparation for the race will require ingenuity to harvest the energy most efficiently and design the most energy-miserly ways to cook, communicate and operate the boat. These preparatory stages will also be a rich area for pre-race publicity.

GOR, heh.

Check out Al Gore’s houseboat. Ben-Hur couldn’t row this thing:

rrrrrr.jpg

Well, I think publicizing that the Arctic has beaten one of the GOR participants is probably unintentional.

h/t to WUWT reader Mike Odin

About these ads

121 thoughts on “Rescue Me! Another polar expedition trapped in ice

  1. “The crew will enjoy all the comforts of home by utilizing the energy available from the ocean and the sun. The preparation for the race will require ingenuity to harvest the energy most efficiently and design the most energy-miserly ways to cook, communicate and operate the boat. ”

    Hmmmn. “living with all the comforts of hiome, but then he predicts that they will need to be energy-misers as well.

    Well, there goes “all the comfrts of home”

    Perhaps they should try the well-=proven designs of the Wasa, HMS Victory, Cutty Sark, USS Constituion ….

    And a few other scurvy-ridden, 8-10 knot sailboats manned by diseased sailors living in un-air conditioned, unheated bilgewater-coated vessels with no showers and no sanitation. Will the crews prefer to sit on the poopdeck? Or the forward scuttles where at least the waves wioll wash the seats “clean”?

  2. Sorry, but “the yacht fiasco” is not Canadian registered. It’s crew is not Canadian.

    I. however, am Canadian and I pay taxes – lots and lots of taxes.

    The last thing I want is Canadian taxes being expended to save these losers from their appropriate and Darwinian fate.

    NMFP

  3. I’m not sure of the “Well-proven” designs – the Wasa sank on her maiden voyage pretty much as soon as she left the harbour.
    The best wooden ship design for polar exploring would, to me, be a nice chunky hulled whaling ship with round bilges which would pop up out of the ice when squeezed. Hopefully.
    Dare we mention whaling ships in a Green context?

    I’m just glad I didn’t underwrite the Fiona.

  4. So, did Fiona sink? What kind of ecological damage would that cause? And that “houseboat”? Must take a ton of carbon credits just to run the lights.
    DAISANAID big time.

  5. Despite a favorable ice report we encountered 8/10ths ice, with many old, i.e. large, bergs.

    I assume, by “favorable”, he means less ice. He must be conflicted.

  6. Despite a favorable ice report we encountered 8/10ths ice

    Har! That’ll teach them to believe the UK Met Office’s “BBQ summer” forecast

  7. I think the boat owners should sue the IPCC, NSIDC, Al Gore and all the other false advertisers of the arctic as a balmy place to frolick. The Canadian Coast Guard should send a brigantine with an army of axe wielding rescuers to publicize they are doing their part to reduce their climate footprint. Or maybe the fuel barrels left behind by the eco-friendly Catlin Expedition could be made into a raft to escape the soon to be crushed sailboat. In the image linked, look at the serpentine band of green ice in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago south of the main mass of “purple” ice.

    This is the NW passage and the sailboat has been waiting at the entrance of the passage- apparently oblivious to the fact that the ice pack moves around and can do so fairly quickly. “We are not in immediate danger” is the kind of statement one makes when one has done something stupid and is in immediate danger – you’d rather die rather than be rescued dramatically. The Coast Guard of course knows this and will be speeding to the rescue.

  8. I have sent the following e-mail to the ship’s web address:

    Hello Fiona,

    Having read that you are calling an icebreaker I am saddened and shocked. Do you realize the tons of carbon emissions such a trip by that fossil-fueled behemoth will emit into the atmosphere? And are you going to pay the Canadian Coast Guard the cost of the icebreaker’s trip?

  9. Doesn’t sound much of a passage this great North West Passage…. Great passage for pack ice is about all. Not much chop for fragile plastic yachts.

  10. Alert, Nunavut Canada (82deg31min) is averaging below 0C in forecast this week, we will be seeing the DMI polar temp (above 80N) slipping into freeze-up for the season at least up to Mid May 2010.

    http://www.wunderground.com/global/stations/71082.html

    I think before the hoards of Catlinite-like adventurers hit the arctic from now on, we should have them sign an agreement that they will pay for the rescue services and clean-up of their left-behinds.

  11. “”” We are not in immediate danger “””

    Except the danger of terminal stupifity. My apologies to our Canuck friends of the north; whose tax dollars will get wasted unshackling these buffoons.

    If you read that BBC/Green peace skullduggery, you will learn the surprising fact that the middle of that Arcitic ice pack those idiots are trapped in is 3 km thick.

    Now who’d a thunk that with the NSIDC watching closely.

  12. There are several expeditions out there. The AroundtheAmericas team mentions Fiona and a couple of others in the same area:

    http://www.aroundtheamericas.org/story/Crew+Log+66+-+At+Sea+60+02N,+105+11W+

    “There were, as of early Tuesday evening, three vessels in or near a body of water known as Larsen Sound. One is a Westsail 42 called Fiona, sailed by a vastly experienced American sailor named Eric Forsyth, a two-time circumnavigator and a former winner of the Cruising Club of America’s highly prestigious Blue Water Medal. Another sailboat is a Bavaria 44 called Perithia, reportedly sailed by a German couple of unknown experience. The third is a Nordhavn 57 powerboat called Bagan skippered by another American, filmmaker Sprague Theobold. According to several reports, all three boats left a town called Resolute several days ago and all three are currently in extremely uncomfortable, if not outright dangerous, situations.”

    “In a short update on the same site, we’ve learned that Bagan is also in a deep pickle, locked into a pack of 9/10 ice. A Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker is supposedly en route to the area, but for the moment that won’t be of much help to Bagan, as even an icebreaker can’t pierce such dense concentrations.

    “Reportedly, the German boat is also now stuck in impassable ice. Over the course of my career as a sailing writer I’ve written dozens and dozens of boat reviews, and I know the Bavaria brand quite well. They are nice, simple, mass-produced coastal cruisers that are priced to sell and actually sail quite nicely. But frankly, unless the boat has been extensively modified – and perhaps even then – in my opinion (and let me stress, it’s only my opinion) it’s an extremely poor choice for extensive voyaging in ice-strewn waters. I very much hope to be eating those words before the month is out.”

    The Canadian rescue services could be rather busy soon.

  13. Do people have to get permission from the Canadian authorities before they set off on these daft stunts? If not, why not?

  14. Thanks RichG for the link. I see they are expressing a little irritation with the ice forecast. Did they think they were still in the big city?

    And jlc, no they’re not Canadian…couldn’t be by definition.

  15. http://www.fiona2009northwestpassage.blogspot.com/

    I love the last sentance of the fiona blos for “Tuesday, August 11, 2009″

    “It’s a beautiful day in Resolute. 65F and clear. This morning a polar bear swam into the bay. Coming ashore and heading to town, a local resident “buzzed” it with a four-wheeler, a “quad,” chasing it back into the water. The bear tested the atmosphere as it swam, deciding, I suppose, Fiona held little appeal. I tend to agree with the bear. At this point in the journey the old ‘gal is getting a little stale. Swimming about 100 yards past both Fiona and the German Perithia, the bear pulled itself onto an ice floe and napped until noon.”

    Polar bear on ice floe just napping, not starving to death!!!!!!

  16. Well the more people get trapped, the more the ice will disappear, it’s obvious those icebreakers needed to rescue them break up the ice into more easily meltable chunks O.o

  17. On August 17, 2009, the crew of the Fiona makes the comment:

    We are NOT in immediate danger.

    I wonder if anyone in the crew regrets making the comment on May 24 at the Bon Voyage Party:

    What could possibly go wrong?

  18. I hope they get the TOTAL bill of rescueing these people! It’s amazing! Arctic Ice always waxes and wanes. Some years more than others but Alarmists can’t leave it alone. Has the Arctic EVER been completely clear of ice after the Earth has cooled down to having Life? Well, I’m sure not in Man’s life time here on this Planet. Which is a short time in comparison to it’s beginning.

  19. Well, there’s an idiot, or a “Goron”, born every minute. I think it makes for great comic relief. Darwin theory being demonstrated again….

  20. Got an e-mail from Sprague Theobald this morning. Not going much better for him.

    Tue, Aug 18, 2009 02:51 PM
    “Easy it hasn’t been. Just spent two days locked in 9/10ths ice slowy
    being pushed being to shore. Had to use the boat as a breaker and
    while we took some damage were very lucky to get out of it at all.
    Finish maybe the end of Sept?
    ST”

    I truly wish all of them the best of luck. Getting off the couch and doing something like this is a monumental achievement.

  21. Well it will make a nice polar bear den for the winter…
    As a former first responder,Both Firefighting and SAR(Civil Air Patrol)
    you cannot make stupid go away.
    Unless it gets eaten…

  22. In keeping with the schadenfreude:

    BEEP: “You have reached the emergency rescue line of the Canadian Coast Guard. We’re sorry, Yacht Fiona your carbon footprint quota has been exceeded for this fiscal year. Therefore, no rescue is possible. Thank you, and have a green day.” DIAL TONE.

  23. Not exactly an expedition full of Shackletons is it?

    Maybe the Canadians should just send Bear Grylls or Les Stroud up to teach them how to survive on arctic lichens and bear droppings, and they could continue to report on the development of the ice over the winter.

  24. I see from the DMI Arctic Temperature that it is beginning to drip to 273.15K, so I guess we can expect more of this sort of stuff.

  25. I’ve been following another one called Silent Sound:

    http://www.openpassageexpedition.com/

    They are headed W-E and their mission IS clear:

    “To explore these dramatic changes taking place the 40-foot sailing yacht Silent Sound will embark on a voyage that five years ago was nearly impossible for amateur sailors. In the summer of 2009, with only four crew and a yacht just over half as long as Amundsen’s ship, we will “sail” through the Northwest Passage from west to east. The goal of this expedition is to use written word, video and photos to tell the story of how climate change is affecting Arctic communities.”

    I put “sail” in quotes, because they are motoring, admitting on the site that they can’t make the trip on wind alone.

    At last report on Aug 14, they were in Cambridge Bay which is 450 miles short of Fiona’s point (to the SW)! Their blog seems to indicate a happy crew lazing along through the beautiful, glass like, wide open Arctic Ocean, partying with the natives, enjoying the ride (and once and a while getting grounded).

    Here’s their latest evidence of how Arctic communities are being affected:

    “There was a big screen TV playing a CFL game and we started guzzling beers and eating steaks. Slowly as the evening wore on, it started to fill up with drinkers, only place in town allowed to sell booze, one night a week. People were getting drunker and drunker, some sitting at the collapsible tables alone. This is no way to create a healthy drinking environment. $7 per drink, $20 steak dinner.”

    “Ran into cop again, with his girlfriend, and another female cop, sat and chatted. They told me the people with credit cards import booze at about $100 a bottle, and then resell it to the poorest at $200-$300 a bottle. They said 75% of their calls are alchohol related, mostly people passed out in public, other peoples homes, domestics, etc. They said other towns similar sized that had a booze ban in place could do with a third as many cops. Sometimes have a ban on booze when no cops in town. That night when we came back to the boat, it was covered in gravel, I guess the kids got annoyed that we wouldn’t allow them onboard.”

    Sounds like a scene out of Wayne’s World.

    Having no experience with that part of the world, I’d be hustling my behind out of there rapido in the last two weeks of August. But what do I know. What’s the rush when you’ve got ample football, beer and steaks.

  26. I think most of the commentary here has got this guy pegged wrong.

    Forsyth is a very experienced ocean sailor who has logged many miles in high latitudes N and S. Having followed his voyages over the years, my view is that he’s more of an pure adventurer than a green nut case. My guess is he’s attempting to do the NW Passage for the same reason many small boat sailors attempt it each year — they do it, as Hillary said of Everest — “Because it’s there”. The NW passage is a extreme challenge and only the very best sailors in strong, well-equipped boats make it through, or make it in and out the way they came when the ice blocks their path. Most of the guys who do this aren’t on an expedition to “prove” anything other than to themselves. They aren’t their to measure the ice or count the polar bears. They’re there to live life intensly, on the edge, where few people have the courage or inclination to go. I’ve been in the high Arctic on a small sailboat twice. At the end of both those trips I swore I’d never go back. With time the memory of how hard it is fades and the lure of the wilderness pulls you back.

    The “favorable” ice report he references means he was expecting less ice cover — not because he was hoping to claim “IT’S MELTING”, but because less ice is a precondition for safe navigation. Finding your way through 4 or 5 tenths ice cover is extremely difficult — going any where with 8/10s is next to impossible. The ice breaker he’s radioed is probably on patrol in the NW passage — it’s one of the things the Canadian coast guard does every year. Coming to his aid will most likely involve an attempt to clear a path for Fiona to make her way out of the spot they’re in on her own power. The incremental cost to the Canadian tax payer of going to Fiona’s aid is probably near zero and the training value to the ice breaker crew will more than likely compensate for any additional fuel expended.

    I don’t know Forsyth’s politics, but my guess is his “green ocean race” is also more about trying to do something that’s difficult and not been done before than it is about being “green”. Ocean sailing at any latitude was once the stuff of great adventure. Technology has made it much easier so that now you can cross an ocean safely in reasonable comfort. Taking fossil fuels out of the equation is sort of like climbing Everest without oxygen. It just makes it that much tougher to do — adds to the challenge and the sense of accomplishment once the goal is achieved. The “green” angle is probably more marketing for the event than anything else.

    Does he sell DVDs, write articles and give lectures — Sure, probably to help him finance his adventures. What’s wrong with that?

    This is not another Catlin Expedition. And Forsyth is not looking for someone to fly in to the rescue. He’s doing what any experienced mariner would do if his boat and crew were in possible danger. He’s asked for coast guard assistance. Based on what I’ve seen of Forsyth’s sailing experience, my guess is that should assistance not be available, he will find a way to get his boat and crew to safety with whatever means is available to them. That’s the way real adventurers do it.

  27. >> We are NOT in immediate danger.

    > I hate it when that happens.

    ?? So you hate it if people are not in immediate danger ??

    REPLY: See Billy Crystal on Saturday Night Live.

  28. RE:

    ” Aelric (11:38:13) :

    In keeping with the schadenfreude:

    BEEP: “You have reached the emergency rescue line of the Canadian Coast Guard. We’re sorry, Yacht Fiona your carbon footprint quota has been exceeded for this fiscal year. Therefore, no rescue is possible. Thank you, and have a green day.” DIAL TONE.”

    Priceless!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  29. DaveF (10:36:18) :

    Do people have to get permission from the Canadian authorities before they set off on these daft stunts? If not, why not?

    Dave, the US gov’t doesn’t acknowledge Canada’s right to claim on the NW passage, and as Canadians, we are too polite to tell these jerks to p*** off.

    Meanwhile, having worked up in the Arctic, these ice breakers are required to get winter heating fuel supplies to locations like Eureka (where I worked) by escorting fuel tankers up there. I guess with those stupid sail boats, there work schedules will be ‘adjusted’

  30. It’s time to start charging these yahoos sizeable fees for rescuing them from their own sheer stupidity.

  31. “”” Billy Ruffn (12:02:35) :

    I think most of the commentary here has got this guy pegged wrong.

    Forsyth is a very experienced ocean sailor who has logged many miles in high latitudes N and S. Having followed his voyages over the years, my view is that he’s more of an pure adventurer than a green nut case. My guess is he’s attempting to do the NW Passage for the same reason many small boat sailors attempt it each year — they do it, as Hillary said of Everest — “Because it’s there”. “””

    OOoops ! er; um, Hillary never ever said any such thing. That once famous observation was made by Mallory; not Hillary; and way back in 1924 or thereabouts; long before Hillary was born.

  32. Say… is that a solar-powered jet ski on the deck of Gore’s houseboat? Is it sitting there charging for some night-time fun? Well, unless it’s a biodiesel jet ski.

    (Of course Gore would only have a ‘green’ jet ski, right?!?)

  33. I wonder if this idiot would be so brave by sailing in such dangerous waters if he knew that all that fossil fuel guzzling rescue equipment and their experienced crews were not at hand to rescue him.

    And I really mean “idiot”.

    I just got back from a yacht delivery between NZ and Tonga. The boat was considered “green’ in that it had both a latest technology wind turbine plus a solar panel. In a decent wind (15-20 kts) and sunny day these devices together generated just enough power to keep the on board freezer and fridge cold. Which was of course great for ALL us beer guzzlers! The point is that we have a ways to go before technology can allow totally “green” boats to sail the world.

  34. “Rick Sharp (10:59:00) :

    Got an e-mail from Sprague Theobald this morning. Not going much better for him.

    I truly wish all of them the best of luck. Getting off the couch and doing something like this is a monumental achievement.”

    No…it’s a monumental example of irresposibility…and will cause other’s to be put in harm’s way to rescue him.

    For those that have suggested such, there was a change in “procedure” with respect to first responders, including the Coast Guard, at least in the New England area, a few years ago.
    There was an instance where two kayakers had gone near Portland, Me when the effects of a hurricane were approaching the Northeast. They got lost and stranded, and the coasties had to go pull them off an island out in Casco Bay. They were presented with a bill for approx. $50,000, if memory serves.

    That should be the case for all these people. I have no issue with adventurers, but you do it?…you own the consequences.

    JimB

  35. And the Canadians will of course have to look out for some dedicated Norsemen.
    The RxII intends to do BOTH the NE AND the NW passage CONTINUOUSLY and BY SAIL.

    http://www.seilmagasinet.no/id/33192.

    They had some annoying ice-problems in the start (reported on the Anglophone page) but have later apparently reached open water N of Siberia. I would be VERY surprised if they really managed to get trhogh the NW before it is to late.
    Here is a more recent map from the Norwegian webpage: http://share.findmespot.com/shared/faces/viewspots.jsp?glId=0sh4D6qB4SbUlL8PQTx67P76naNiL79ys

    Cassanders
    In Cod we trust

  36. George E. Smith,

    My sincere appologies to Mr. Mallory.

    But, as the AGW scientists often say, getting the facts slightly wrong doesn’t have any meaningful impact on the conclusions drawn therefrom: Forsyth isn’t a nutcase. He’s just an old salt at a far edge of the earth probably for no other reason than he wanted to see what was there.

  37. George E. Smith (13:40:20) : “OOoops ! er; um, Hillary never ever said any such thing. That once famous observation was made by Mallory; not Hillary; and way back in 1924 or thereabouts; long before Hillary was born.”

    Hi George. My information is that Sir Edmund Hillary was born in Auckland 19 July 1919. Let’s get our facts right!

    Regards

  38. Billy Ruffn (12:02:35) :I think most of the commentary here has got this guy pegged wrong.

    I agree, this is not a Catlin.

  39. For those interested in the situation Fiona faces have a look at

    http://ice-glaces.ec.gc.ca/prods/WIS38CT/20090819180000_WIS38CT_0004528694.pdf

    Fiona is located somewhere near 70N 96W. They’ve been working their way to the south through the green patches of 4/10s ice market “N” and “P”. They’re only 30 or 40 miles from ice free water to the south and from the looks of the ice extent along the rest of the route to Alaska, if they can cover those 40 miles they will be well on their way to the west coast.

    My hypothesis is that the red-orange blobs to their west have been driven east by the wind and have pinned them temporarily against the coast. What was forecast to be 4/10s (green) turned into 8/10ths (orange). That happens sometimes in the Arctic — wind driven ice floes push you ashore. If this is what has happened, their challenge is to keep water out of the boat and once the ice is blown back to the west (not likely to happen in the next few days if the Canadian wx reports are correct), get Fiona floating again. In this case all Fiona needs from the Canadian ice breaker is a tow off the beach and, perhaps, a hole in the patch of ice market “H” to their south.

    Fiona is only a couple of days behind schedule (see http://www.yachtfiona.com/fnn.htm at the bottom of the page) and I surmise Forsyth is well provisioned so he’s not going to starve anytime soon.

    Many boats attempting the NW passage do not make it through in a single year and are forced to winter over. If they are able to make it to one of the settlements along the route, they will secure the boat for the winter and fly home. If they’re not, and they need to winter over in the “bush” the prospects for saving the boat are not as good.

    Fiona’s crew is in all probably NOT looking for someone to rescue them in the sense implied in the original post and many of the comments above. My guess is that all they want at this point is someone who can pull them off the beach so they can be on their way.

  40. This is way off topic so feel free to delete this comment moderator :)

    Apropos the earlier post about my yacht delivery (Nola) the purpose of which was to transport some of these young people up into the Pacific Islands for a very worthy cause. I feel more worthwhile and considerably more unsung than the typical Catlin or Fiona venture.

    http://www.sustainablecoastlines.com/Kia_Ora/Welcome.html

  41. Well, im not sure on the politics of these expeditions. But i admire anyone with the gumption to get out there and push the limits… I ice climb, but ill never climb K2 or Everest! But i admire the people who do have the courage to put it all on the line.

    Here in New Zealand, if they deem a rescue is due to stupidity, they will bill the responsible party, and that makes sense to me.

  42. AndrewWH (09:35:50) :

    “The best wooden ship design for polar exploring would, to me, be a nice chunky hulled whaling ship with round bilges which would pop up out of the ice when squeezed.”

    It already exists. It is called “Fram” was built in 1892, was arguably the most successful arctic exploration vessel in history (used by Nansen across the Arctic Ocean 1893-96, by Sverdrup in the Sverdrup Archipelago 1898-1900 and by Amundsen to the South Pole in1911-12). It is now in a museum at Bygdöy, Oslo, Norway.

  43. Anybody have any idea why this Fiona does not have her sails hoisted if she wants to make any headway getting out of the ice.

    Hoist the main; plus a jib or maybe a big spinnaker (I’d fly the Whomper myself), and just sail right out of that ice trap (head south).

    It’s getting just a bit too close to that September refreeze to be heading north.

    Anybody notice the second harmonic distortion of that roughly sinusoidal ice coverage graph. Clearly the melting process that starts around March or so is somewhat more gentle than the refreeze that starts mid september and then goes like crazy.

    My theory says that since the ice is basically fresh water, it starts to metl as soon as the temperature gets above zero (C), and proceeds slowly because of all the latent heat it has to absorb from the ocean waters. But in order to refreeze, the sea water is now salty, so it has to get down to -2.5 or lower (C), before it can begin to freeze, and when it does that, it expels a lot of salt, sot he sea water adjacent to the forming ice gets even saltier, which further reduces its freezing temperature. Eventually the temperature is too far below zero for any amount of salt to stop, freezing, and then the temperature gradient between the air and the water is so great that is freezes almost explosively; well it goes PDQ once it starts.

    Just a theory though; never tried it out in a lab; but that would result in the assymmetrical curve that we see from NSIDC

  44. They are darned lucky the Canadian Coast Guard was both willing and able to resuce them. One of these days, there are going to be casualties, to either or both brave rescuers and stranded foolhearty.

  45. Indeed. If you are going to deliberately sail into and perhaps get stuck in ice there is a very great deal to be said for a well found copper fastened wooden vessel of traditional lines.

    I think modern technology could do better, indeed I am sure it could, but nobody has built one or it seems wants to do so.

    Instead they want to sail small cruise liners which were never designed or built for such conditions into Antarctic waters to see whatever it is.

    And sink. Unsurprisingly since many don’t even have double skinned hulls let alone adequate life saving provision for such conditions.

    No wonder the poor Chilean Navy gets a ten aspirin headache whenever the Antarctic visiting season comes round.

    Kindest Regards

  46. “”” MikeE (15:49:28) :

    Well, im not sure on the politics of these expeditions. But i admire anyone with the gumption to get out there and push the limits… I ice climb, but ill never climb K2 or Everest! But i admire the people who do have the courage to put it all on the line.

    Here in New Zealand, if they deem a rescue is due to stupidity, they will bill the responsible party, and that makes sense to me. “””

    Well it is one thing to do it on your own for “sport”; but when you do it for political effect; then you deserve whatever happens to you; and you shouldn’t expect someone else to put their life on the line to come after you.

    People who want to climb Everest of K2, should be required to sign a waver saying they alone are responsible for whatever happens to them, and they will have to get themselves out of whatever they get into. Hillary showed it was possible; someone else showed it is possible to climb up all the stairs in the Empire State Building. So why others want to waste everyone’s time and energy doing what has already been done is beyond me; should be counted as plagiarism.

    My boss pays me now and then, when I do something that nobody else ever did before. Then he pays me to write it up for publication and peer review; nearly everything like that I have done, is published in the United States Patent Office publications. That really opens your stuff up to falsification scrutiny.

    George

  47. “”” Stoic (14:16:25) :

    George E. Smith (13:40:20) : “OOoops ! er; um, Hillary never ever said any such thing. That once famous observation was made by Mallory; not Hillary; and way back in 1924 or thereabouts; long before Hillary was born.”

    Hi George. My information is that Sir Edmund Hillary was born in Auckland 19 July 1919. Let’s get our facts right!

    Regards “””

    Stoic; I’ll take your word for it; I’m sure you checked before posting; which I did not; I just assumed he was about my age; and I certainly missed the 1920s.

    So I’ll take a few demerits for not checking; but hey that “because it’s there” thing; you can’t fool me on that; Mallory was one of my boyhood heroes, along with Robert Falcon Scott; neither one of them made good on their ventures into foolhardiness.

    George; see that’s twice now I’ve been wrong.

  48. Actually the first mention of Sir Edmund Hillary was in 1953; right around the time of the coronation of QE-II; I know because they interrupted the coronation ceremony news to tell us all about some beee keeper name Ed Hillary hving climbed Mt Everest, so officially in 1919 there wasn’t any Sir Edmund Hillary; and of course Sir Edmund Hillary never climbed Mt Everest; but Ed Hillary did.

    But he was famous even before he climbed Mt Everest, as the future wife of the President of the United States was named after him. She’s not as old as me, but was born before 1953.

  49. Nice picture you found there RichG (09:30:03). Yes, that looks like quite the vessel to be sailing into Arctic with (not). If you look carefully, in the background is a line of electrical power lines. Seems technology beat these greenies to the area. Hope they enjoy their boat ride back with the Coast Guard. Maybe a real sailor will tell them to just stay home. Love this line from their blog: “Ice Everywhere!
    Sunday August 16, email from Russ, “FREEZING, sleet, wind, ice everywhere…” The ice not melting (like it SHOULD) but actually expanding and trapping them. Are they still convinced there is man-made global warming? Probably.

  50. When someone asked Sir Edmund Hillary, whether he thought George Lee Mallory, and Andrew Irvine ever reached the summit of Everest, and perhaps fell on the return; following the discovery of Mallory’s body; Hillary is reported to have said in effect; who cares; it doesn’t count if you don’t come back.

    I would have bet anything that Hillary of all people would have said, that he hoped they actually made it. If that story is true; then it is the only negative impulse I have ever had about Hillary; He was a true adventurere, and a great humanitarian to boot; and truly a National Hero.

    I hope Mallory and Irvine made it to the top; but we’ll never know for sure; and it would change nothing in the Hillary Saga.

  51. Does somebody could arrange a meeting of these people, after they return, with the “prophet” of melting ice himself, to tell HIM how nice a trip they had?
    (Of course, no weapons allowed)

  52. Ice, shmice. What I want to know is how the sea lion in the lead photo is clinging to the side of that rock. Since when do sea lions have spider powers?

  53. james allison (15:48:22) :Apropos the earlier post about my yacht delivery (Nola) the purpose of which was to transport some of these young people up into the Pacific Islands for a very worthy cause.

    This is what environmentalism was originally about – actually doing something useful. Now it’s been hijacked by activists who just try to force everybody else to do something useless.

  54. I’m so disguted by the never ending line of worthless idealists embarking on these idiotic journeys, they need to be aware IN ADVANCE, that if they get in trouble, 2 things are going to result:

    A) they get their like minded doofus friends to pull their feet out of the fire

    B) they pru funds in escroe necessary to pay whatever government ageny for their rescue from stupidity.

    If A or B don’t work, let them stay where they are and deal with rheir stupidity, even if fatal.

  55. Rick Sharp (10:59:00) :
    Got an e-mail from Sprague Theobald this morning. Not going much better for him.

    Actually it’s gone much better for him, he’s clear of ice and entered Gjoa Havn last night and has clear sailing through the rest of the passage.

  56. A lot of people here have commented that (at least some of) these folks are “true” adventurers.

    Nonsense!

    They all embark on these journeys knowing they have lifelines back to civilization, and they usually wind up using them.

  57. “Despite a favorable ice report we encountered 8/10ths ice”

    Who issued the forecast, Greenpeace?

  58. How many but the already convinced are actually following these stunts?

    With many people struggling with their finances and out of a job, who is interested what rich people are doing in their boats “raising awareness of human-caused climate change”?

  59. I was going to make a philosophical post on the sadness of these people but then I thought – no. Life’s too short.

    Why doesn’t Al Gore sail his houseboat up the North West Passage? Maybe he could just stick his houseboat up his own North west Passage instead…

  60. Gary Hladik (17:41:35) :

    “Ice, shmice. What I want to know is how the sea lion in the lead photo is clinging to the side of that rock. Since when do sea lions have spider powers?”

    Good spot Gary! The obvious answer is that it is moving its habitat upwards in response to global sea level rise…

  61. I am happy that he is safe in the arms of industrial civilization and warm in the fossil-fueled heat of a Canadian ship. However, these Bozos (Bozo was a clown) should have to PAY for the cost of their rescues whenever they attempt stunts against the advice of the Coast Guard.
    I am expected to pay more for insurance if my life choices (diet, exercise, driving habits) are not correct.

  62. “Check out Al Gore’s houseboat. Ben-Hur couldn’t row this thing.”

    I think Al Gore was being unfairly criticised when someone said he doesn’t believe his own lies of a 20 ft sea rise, as immediately after releasing his “inconvenient” … what was it? truth?, he bought a multimillion beachside mansion in San Francisco.

    That he has bought this Noah’s Ark obviously means he intends to save as many polar bears and other animals as possible.

  63. Phil. (19:33:47) :

    Rick Sharp (10:59:00) :
    Got an e-mail from Sprague Theobald this morning. Not going much better for him.

    Actually it’s gone much better for him, he’s clear of ice and entered Gjoa Havn last night and has clear sailing through the rest of the passage.

    I checked where Gjoa Havn was on Google and then the ice picture on IJIS. I don’t think he has clear sailing as yet. There is a little more ice for him to negotiate. But he has almost a month more of ice melt to go. He could wait for a bit.

  64. George E. Smith (17:08:30) :

    “Mallory was one of my boyhood heroes,” Mine too and Hillary. Not so sure about Captain Scott though. But the point about them was that they were genuine adventurers exploring the unknown using only their own resources. There were no cuddly, carbon-powered rescue services to rescue them from their adventures.

    The most admirable failure was surely Ernest Shackleton who self-rescued his whole Antarctic expedition without losing a man after his ship had been destroyed by ice. That story, as told in ‘South’, is a true and inspirational epic.

    Regards

  65. Justin Sane (20:11:14) :

    “Who issued the forecast, Greenpeace?”

    I bet it was the Canadien Ice Service.

    There was no sudden “expansion” of ice. Wind pushed ice towards coastline where these boats were travelling. The Bagan with radar and strong engine fared much better and seems to be free now.

  66. Rick Sharp (10:59:00) :
    Got an e-mail from Sprague Theobald this morning. Not going much better for him.

    Actually it’s gone much better for him, he’s clear of ice and entered Gjoa Havn last night and has clear sailing through the rest of the passage.

    I checked where Gjoa Havn was on Google and then the ice picture on IJIS. I don’t think he has clear sailing as yet. There is a little more ice for him to negotiate. But he has almost a month more of ice melt to go. He could wait for a bit.

    Unless of course he has come from the Alaskan side? In which case he is clear

  67. Just checked it he is coming down greenland way. It doesnt show any sea ice upto Gjoa Havn. The ice starts from there. So I dont know how you say “clear sailing through the rest of the passage”.

    What he has written on his blog is “we have a clear shot down Ross Strait to Gjoa Haven!
    Menu: The last three days: Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, Tonight: Steak!”

    the Clear shot was upto Gjoa Haven, not beyond.

  68. Richard (03:30:13) :
    “Just checked it he is coming down greenland way. It doesnt show any sea ice upto Gjoa Havn. The ice starts from there. So I dont know how you say “clear sailing through the rest of the passage”.”

    They sailed the strait from north to south, so ice is behind. Have you ever used a compass and map?

    Latest ice chart for Queen Maud:

  69. Richard (03:30:13) :
    Just checked it he is coming down greenland way. It doesnt show any sea ice upto Gjoa Havn. The ice starts from there. So I dont know how you say “clear sailing through the rest of the passage”.

    What he has written on his blog is “we have a clear shot down Ross Strait to Gjoa Haven!

    Which it was and he reached Gjoa Havn without further problems, the way west is clear if you look at the charts and also the reports of the other boats that have come that way. Fleur Australe has already headed that way ahead of him and had clear water all the way to Dolphin & Union Strait where they’ll have the remnants of last week’s ice and that should be it.

  70. Stoic (00:39:01)

    I agree, Shackleton was the man. His 1914 expedition set out to be the first to cross Antarctica. Here is their advertisement: “Men wanted for Hazardous Journey. Small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in case of success.” 5000 men and 3 women applied.
    They set out from the United Kingdom in August 1914, just as the First World War was beginning. Soon after arriving in Antarctic waters, their ship, Endurance, gets trapped by the ice in Jan 1915. After heroically trying to save it, they abandon it in Nov 1915 as the pressure of the compacting ice crushed the hull. They established camp on an ice floe hoping to drift towards the open sea or an island, and when their ice broke apart in April 1916, they went into their lifeboats and sailed to Elephant Island (about 600 miles SSE of Cape Horn).
    Leaving 22 men behind, many sick and malnourished, Shackleton and five crewman set sail immediately from Elephant Isl in a 20 foot open life boat to South Georgia Isl (of Falkland War fame). They sailed through a hurricane, enduring 50 foot seas, and navigated precisely to S.G. Isl by 8-9 May. They landed on the southern coast, which was unpopulated. Rather than risk going to sea again, Shackleton and two men set out on foot and hiked over a mountain range to a Norwegian whaling station – a feat not replicated until 1954. Immediately, he set about organizing a rescue of the men at Elephant Isl and those men were evacuated in August without a loss of life. Shackleton then returned to Britain to fight in the war.
    His account, as noted by Stoic is “South.” I recommend reading it and having your teenage children read it. It can get a little dry, the photography excellent, the heroics between the lines, but it defines toughness.

  71. “jlc (09:24:41) :

    Sorry, but “the yacht fiasco” is not Canadian registered. It’s crew is not Canadian.

    I. however, am Canadian and I pay taxes – lots and lots of taxes.

    The last thing I want is Canadian taxes being expended to save these losers from their appropriate and Darwinian fate.”

    Me too. I hope they get a bill from the Canadian Coast Gard!!

  72. Lance 13 13 40):

    Thankyou for your information; you’d think, though, that there’d be some way of insisting on rescue insurance, wouldn’t you?

  73. RichG (09:30:03) :

    I like this from the link you provided:

    “Remember, nothing is constant but change”

    No…really.

  74. I did not realize the Al Gore had bought himself a pleasure craft boat. I looked it up online, what a hoot! A luxury item that screams(!) “Hey, look at me! I’m rich (and you’re not)!” And the picture of himself he plastered on the side of this tub! I will be laughing about it for days. I can’t post the photo since it is copywrited, but here is the linK:

    Al Gore's Giant Houseboat

    He looks like some sort of Hindu priest! I guess he likes that image of himself. People, this guy is dangerous. He cares nothing for the planet, only for himself. His actions aimed at personal enrichment speak for themselves. If you live in the US now is the time to get in the ear of your US Senator and start screaming against the Cap and Trade extortion. And don’t let up.

  75. Just for the record, today the sun has been spotless for forty days in a row and counting.

    Recent peer reviewed scientific reports have indicated that our oceans are currently losing more energy than receiving.

    I am extremely curious what the next NH winter will bring.

    There have been times when entire armies walked the ice between the European Continent and Britain, where ships were caught in the ice unable to leave the harbor, rivers froze up and markets and fairs were held on the ice that covered the river Thames.

    I know the Thames is deeper now and flowing faster, so a repeat of such a condition is hardly possible, even during a long period of severe frost, but I often think about the romantic winter landscapes painted by Dutch masters with people skating on the Dutch Canals from October to early May.

  76. Ron de Haan (08:20:39) :
    “There have been times when entire armies walked the ice between the European Continent and Britain.”

    When was that then? Thames, yes. English Channel, surely not.

  77. George E. Smith (16:26:04) :
    Just a theory though; never tried it out in a lab; but that would result in the assymmetrical curve that we see from NSIDC

    Then it is not a theory, it is a hypothesis. Calling your hypothesis theory is as bad as calling AGW theory; neither pass the criteria to have such a label.

  78. Ron

    Ships froze in harbours, ice stretched five miles into the channel but I have not heard of armies walking across during the LIA.

    “In Lorna Doone, R D Blackmore records the “Great Winter” of 1683-4 – the coldest of all – when the soil of south-west England froze a yard deep and ice covered the English Channel five miles out from each coast. Those were the times when Henry VIII could drive a carriage on the Thames, and Elizabeth I could take a daily constitutional on it in 1564-65. A century later an enterprising publisher made a tidy haul by selling punters – including Charles II – slips of paper emblazoned with their names and the words “printed on the Thames”.

    Best regards

    Tonyb

  79. The last time the Thames froze was in January 1963 on the Western side of London. Somebody drove a Mini across.

  80. An interesting PDF file about historic ice bound army crossings can be found here:

    http://www.springerlink.com/content/k60lkk031q4516n7/

    It has happened more often than I could imagine.

    Abstract Seven more-or-less well documentated cases of the use made of icebound sea areas in winter for the purposes of warfare are reviewed. The sea-ice crossings took place in 1495, 1577, 1581, 1658, 1809, 1940, and 1943, i.e. the first five occurred during the Little Ice Age. A book authored by a prominent Swedish personality (Archbishop Olaus Magnus) and published in 1555 says that warfare on frozen sea areas in winter by the Muscovites (Russians) and Swedes was as common as warfare by ships on the open seas in summer. There are indications of some crossings of ice-bound seas prior to 1495 and not necessarily for warlike activities. It seems that the Vikings too did some sea-ice crossings.
    The crossings of 1495, 1577, 1581, and 1940 involved the Gulf of Finland, that of 1809 the Gulf of Bothnia and the Aaland Islands area of the Baltic, that of 1658 the Danish Belts, and that of 1943 the Gulf of Taganrog in the Sea of Azov. In the first three cases the powers concerned were Muscovy (Russia) and Sweden which for centuries were fighting for supremacy in the Baltic and over the routes from the inner Baltic (Gulf of Finland and Bay of Riga) to western Europe. The case of 1809 involved, again, Russia and Sweden, though in the background of the conflict between the two were wider European issues of the Napoleonic wars. The 1658 crossing of the frozen-over Danish Belts was accomplished by the Swedes, forcing the Danes into submission: In the ensuing Peace Treaty Sweden for the first time in her history achieved her present territorial extent in the Scandinavian Peninsula. The case of 1940 was connected with the 1939–40 Winter War of Soviet Russia against Finland. The crossing of 1943 was made by German forces retreating from the Caucasus under the pressure of Soviet forces in World War II.
    The crossings of 1577, 1581, 1658, 1809, 1940, and 1943 took place between late in January and late in March; the case of 1495 appears to have taken place early in the winter season: probably late in November. Since in the period 1931–60 no part of the Gulf of Finland froze over before about the middle of December, the early date of the crossing of 1495 is possibly one of the many indications of cold winters during the Little Ice Age.

  81. “”” Brian Epps (08:50:52) :

    George E. Smith (16:26:04) :
    Just a theory though; never tried it out in a lab; but that would result in the assymmetrical curve that we see from NSIDC

    Then it is not a theory, it is a hypothesis. Calling your hypothesis theory is as bad as calling AGW theory; neither pass the criteria to have such a label. “””

    You use your words and i’ll use mine. My “theory” was a description of a possible model that would behave as I proposed. If you want to hypothesizew that my model reasonably represents what the real world does; you may do that. To me it was just an idea.

    These high school science class labels that people want to put on everything; to create the illusion that they are doing science, are just that; high school science class labels; like “anthropogenic” for example instead of man-made, or “diurnal” for daily.

    I belong to the AAAS, and get both the dead tree and on-line versions of SCIENCE.

    Almost any paper abstract in that journal, would qualify for the Bullwer Lytton BS Prize.

  82. DaveF (09:45:23) : said

    “The last time the Thames froze was in January 1963 on the Western side of London. Somebody drove a Mini across.”

    You are being London centric Dave.

    I have walked across the Thames a number of times-the last one around 2000 at Pangbourne in Berkshire. The river is very wide here.

    Tonyb

  83. Phil. (05:37:59) :
    Richard (03:30:13) :
    Just checked it he is coming down greenland way. It doesnt show any sea ice upto Gjoa Havn. The ice starts from there. So I dont know how you say “clear sailing through the rest of the passage”.

    Which it was and he reached Gjoa Havn without further problems, the way west is clear if you look at the charts and also the reports of the other boats that have come that way. Fleur Australe has already headed that way ahead of him and had clear water all the way to Dolphin & Union Strait where they’ll have the remnants of last week’s ice and that should be it.

    Phil you are obviously an armchair traveller who belittles the dangers ahead. The way west is not clear as per the Ice cover map. I dont know what chart you are referring to – have a look at the IJIS site.

    The way upto Gjoa Havn shows no ice whatsoever. To the west it shows it spotty but there.

    Here is what he has written in his blog

    “..never have I been so glad to hear the engine shut down. Two days ago we powered into thick, impenetrable ice which just as quickly closed in around us. WHAT WAS SUGGESTED WOULD BE 2/10THS COVERAGE WAS ACTUALLY 9/10THS COVERAGE. At one in the morning we completely ran out of options. We would find a lead, then force our way down to it at 1-2 kts, sometimes over and through the ice, only to find that what we thought was a lead had completely frozen over, thus forcing us to find a new lead.

    Making our way through this solid ice barrier was beyond nerve-wracking in that the protestations from the ice were heard in the forms of shrieks, screeches, explosions and deep powerful shudders. If any of the ice bits found their way to our exposed stabilizers, propellor or rudder the potential damage could have bordered on the unthinkable. Time and again we’d fight for 500 yards, only to have it taken from us at the last minute, finding that the lead ahead had closed in the 10 minutes we’d been trying to get to it. Bagan had taken a complete battering all day long and when we found she was inexorably trapped. Not being able to move forward or backward we shut down the engine and anchored onto a floe, 1 ½ miles from shore.

    In 17 hours we had traveled 18 miles. We tried to sleep. THE ICE WAS FIRM ENOUGH TO WALK ON ..We received an email from a boat 60 miles north of us. SHE WAS SO SOLIDLY PACKED IN AND WAS BEING DRIVEN TO SHORE. SHE HAD TO CALL THE CANADIAN COAST GUARD TO SEND AN ICE BREAKER TO FREE THEM UP. ..”

  84. In my view a “theory” is simply a description of the behavior of a fictitious model; that describes the rules for manipulating the variables of that model to predict (maybe exactly) how the model will behave; in any situation governed by the defining set of rules for that “theory”.

    If there is going to be any hypothesizing going on, it will simply be to hypothesize that some aspects of the real universe appear to behave in a similar fashion to the fictitious model.

    What is so hard about that ? The real universe itself, is far to complex, and chaotic to ever hope to write a theory about.

    George


  85. Phil you are obviously an armchair traveller who belittles the dangers ahead. The way west is not clear as per the Ice cover map. I dont know what chart you are referring to – have a look at the IJIS site.

    Yes IJIS, ice Canada and Modis all show what I said, clear from GH to Dolphin& Union then the remnants of last week’s ice around Lambert Island (as Fleur Australe has found coupled with rough water and fog).
    I don’t know why you found it relevant to quote what the ice was like north of King William Land a couple of days ago, Bagan isn’t going back that way!

    Modis image below:

  86. Yipee!!!!!! No need to be embarrassed this time, no Brits were involved!

    Although it has to be said, “other” things in life have embarrassed many of us recently! So on behalf of those, I apologise, but our hands were tied.

    AtB

  87. TonyB (11 19 46)

    I’m sure you’re right, Tony – in fact I have seen a frozen Thames in the upper reaches myself since 1963. It was your earlier post mentioning Henry VIII and Elizabeth 1 that prompted me to correct the impression that someone might have got that such events haven’t happened since. I think 63 was the last time anyone drove cars on the Thames, though – some even towing skiiers at Windsor!

  88. DaveF

    I remember seeing a car being driven across Windsor great park lake in 1963. I also remember walking across it some time in the early 90’s.

    It will be interesting to see if those days return-I remain an agnostic on the significance of the current lack of sun spots.

    Tonyb

  89. Phil. (21:30:24) :
    You maybe right. I was looking to the north of Gjoa Haven. Didnt see the narrow passage along the Canadian coast.

    However the Fleur Australe seems to be blocked at the moment by ice in the Dolphin straight.

    “Blocked by ice

    By Geraldine on 20 August 2009, 21:14 – News from the Fleur Australe – 20 August Yesterday 17:00. We are in the strangulation of Dolphin Strait. Wind south-east is positive, excluding the ice of the earth. If we manage to reach the peak, it should relax. We look for the flaw in this impenetrable ice.”

  90. A couple notes:

    http://www.theoceans.net/ may be a good site to see reports on the various NW passage attempts this year.

    In New Hampshire, the state’s Fish & Game Division is in charge of helping lost and injured hikers out of the woods. Their primary funding is from the sale of fishing and hunting licenses, so they charge the people they rescue based on the expense and stupidity of the people getting themselves into needing rescue. This can be pretty expensive when the helicopters are called out.

    I’m not sure how successful the collection attempts are, but I know that some people do pay.

  91. Just an observation about the Fleur Australe attempt.

    This French couple are attempting the passage with their 4 children aged 12, 9, 2 and 9 months and their “mascot”, a dog that looks like a terrier.

    Marion the mother in her last post writes “…We followed the coast as closely as possible”, “..we slalom in the ice, becoming thicker old ice”, “rocks starboard, ice to port”, “..Cape Bexley was completely blocked, we retrace our steps to find a channel that would allow us to move seaward.Severe shaking, Laura and Marion are awake, too noisy. Philou requires concentration must calm the children, avoid coming and going in the wheelhouse.”, (Laura is 2 and Marion 9 months)

    “..We pray. ..We must advance at all costs before night falls.”, “We try the great escape.”, “..Our mind is concentrated on one point, pass and move forward, to overcome this tangled maze of ice.”,

    “.. night has fallen, are hitting an iceberg. This becomes dangerous…” With a grappling hook they manage to anchor onto a large floe. Then lose the hook later. There are large swells in the morning. “Nina and Wolf are sick, they are lying in their bunk..” (Nina is 12 and Wolf? Loup? is 9).

    The last entry “Always the heavy swell. Philou” (the husband and master sailor), “said he had never seen a sea so hard together with so little wind, he adds: “(have?)faith sailor!”

    This couple need to be arrested for child abuse. They have no right to put the children through such danger.

  92. Apparently Capt. Philippe Poupon, (Philou), is a famous master sailor and has designed his 60 foot Fleur Australe himself with 15 millimetres of steel. With that he has managed to push his way through a lot of ice in in Cambridge Bay, which claimed other boats attempting it. Still I dont think he has the right to put his family through the clear danger that they are in. The ice could crush 15 millimetres of steel if they got trapped in it.

  93. Richard (12:33:35) :
    Apparently Capt. Philippe Poupon, (Philou), is a famous master sailor and has designed his 60 foot Fleur Australe himself with 15 millimetres of steel. With that he has managed to push his way through a lot of ice in in Cambridge Bay, which claimed other boats attempting it. Still I dont think he has the right to put his family through the clear danger that they are in. The ice could crush 15 millimetres of steel if they got trapped in it.

    He certainly is famous I recall him sailing with Tabarly in the dim and distant past. It wasn’t Cambridge Bay though, I think he’s more qualified to judge how much danger he’s putting his family in than you or I.

  94. “I think he’s more qualified to judge how much danger he’s putting his family in than you or I.”

    That’s what Michael Jackson’s supporters said after he held his baby over the balcony.

  95. Phil. (15:52:28) :

    He certainly is famous I recall him sailing with Tabarly in the dim and distant past. It wasn’t Cambridge Bay though, I think he’s more qualified to judge how much danger he’s putting his family in than you or I.

    Oh yeah? This is from his wife’s blog – who is right there with him, unlike you. “..we slalom in the ice, becoming thicker old ice”, “rocks starboard, ice to port”, “..we retrace our steps to find a channel that would allow us to move seaward. Severe shaking, … ”

    “..We pray. ..We must advance at all costs before night falls.”, “We try the great escape.”, “..Our mind is concentrated on one point, pass and move forward, to overcome this tangled maze of ice.”,

    “.. night has fallen, are hitting an iceberg. This becomes dangerous…”

    We must advance at all costs, escape, danger these are the words she uses. If the boat can withstand any amount of ice, why that desperation to “escape”? 15 millimetres doesnt sound like an awful amount to me. A little more than 1/2 an inch for you americans. I dont know how thick the Titanic was but I think it was more than 15 mm.

  96. Well, he (and his wife) can put themselves (their family) in whatever situation “they feel is proper” (Note: “Safe” will not necessarily be “proper”) but I’d not ever want to trust a boat deliberately run into ice-filled polar waters with only a thin 15 mm of steel between me and death.

  97. So does this mean that the NW Passage was open and navigable in ’09? Does it get an asterisk because it took an ice breaker to get through? If the goal has moved that much, maybe next year they can take an ice breaker themselves.

    I can see the adventure end of it, and the Arctic is pretty amazing. There is also this thing called self rescue. What if the ice breaker couldn’t get there? What if he died? Could you imagine the scene after they crashed and sunk as Mom drags the young kids from ice flow to ice flow while dodging starving polar bears ? Yowza. I don’t think that taking two kids two and under into the obvious dangers there is within the bounds of what most people would call good judgment.

  98. Capt. Poupon has got through thank goodness. They are at Pearce Point in the Amundsen Gulf. Blue skies, blue sea and ice free from now on. Nice picture of them on the shore and Geraldine swimming in the 3 degree water. She is an actress apparently.

    http://www.fleuraustrale.fr/

  99. Yacht Fiona Causes Canadian Coast Guard to Burn $25000 in Fuel During Rescue from Ice, Then Gives Them the Finger

    Ironically, Capt. Forsyth is the founder of the Green Ocean Race. He called the CG for a rescue when his sailboat got caught in the ice while navigating the Northwest Passage.

    http://www.aroundtheamericas.org/story/Crew+Log+71+-+Oscar+Bay%2C+Boothia+Peninsula

    “…one of the Laurier crew, in an aside, mentioned that the ship had burned $25,000 of fuel last week when it went to the aid of a 42-foot sailboat called Fiona, skippered by Eric Forsyth.

    “That one perked up our ears.

    “We met Eric and his crew the other day in Cambridge Bay and had breakfast together. They were headed west; we were headed east. Eric mentioned that Fiona had become lodged in ice, a situation he described as “anxious-making.” He continued: “The thing about sailing in the Arctic is that you can do everything right and something might happen out of your control and you might lose your boat.” After two months up here ourselves, we couldn’t agree more. And we did know the Laurier had headed toward Peel Sound when Fiona and another boat, a motoryacht called Bagan, were more or less stuck in the vicinity. But this was the first we’d heard that they were responding to a distress call issued by Fiona.”

    “…some of the crew aboard the Laurier apparently experienced similar misgivings after burning massive amounts of fuel, and then watching in surprise, en route to Fiona, as the 42-footer suddenly approached them, having extricated herself successfully from the ice. They were relieved for the crew, but it was pretty clear they would’ve appreciated a call.”

Comments are closed.