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

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OK.
I’m having a serious attack of Schadenfreude.
Bwaahahahahhhhahahahaaahhhhhhaahaha!
Thank you.
Feeling so much better.

“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”?

jlc

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

RichG

There is a more detailed blog with more information (and a great picture of their current predicament) being maintained by the sister of one of the crew, billed as “A journal of the trip aboard S/V Fiona by Russ Roberts:
http://www.fiona2009northwestpassage.blogspot.com/
R

AndrewWH

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.

Retired Engineer

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.

L Nettles

http://www.yachtfiona.com/FionaBustPoster.jpg
California or Bust via the Northwest Passage!!
Looks like a Bust to me.

Antonio San

LOL Meanwhile Canadian taxpayers come to the rescue… Send them the bill -pun intended!…

Skeptic Tank

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.

Robert Wood

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

Gary Pearse

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.
http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/NEWIMAGES/arctic.seaice.color.000.png
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.

groweg

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?

J.Hansford

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.

Gary Pearse

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.

George E. Smith

“”” 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.

John Galt

If I called these guys “GORONS”, would you snip it?

SJones

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.

DaveF

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

Will

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.

S Nettles

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!!!!!!

Adam from Kansas

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

FerdinandAkin

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?

Denny

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.

Squidly

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

Rick Sharp

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.

AnonyMoose

Say, Fiona, there’s death 100 yards away. What’s the polar bear forecast?

hunter

I hope they are safe, but the ironic humor is over whelming.

Douglas DC

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…

Have you seen the small chickabiddy – the appendix of the energy-efficient yacht that the Canadian Coast Guard sent them?
http://motls.blogspot.com/2009/08/yacht-fiona-hopelessly-trapped-in-ice.html
It’s all so efficient… 😉 I wonder how many billions of dollars will be wasted for such missions to save idiots before people realize that it would be far more reasonable to allow Nature to act naturally and give some of them Darwin’s awards.

Aelric

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.

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.

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.

Tyler

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.

Billy Ruffn

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.

Michael

>> 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.

page48

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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

eric anderson

Why do bad icebergs happen to good global warmists?

Lance

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’

geo

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

George E. Smith

“”” 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.

H.R.

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?!?)

james allison

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.

JimB

“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

Cassanders

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

Billy Ruffn

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.

james allison

George E. Smith (13:40:20) :
The late Ed Hillary said “I knocked the bugger off”.

james allison

Sorry – “We knocked the bugger off” 🙂

Stoic

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

Bob D

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.

NastyWolf

Seems that the French sailing boat Fleur Australe made it past Gjoa Haven from east to west at a very good moment, just few days before the Bagan struggled there.
http://www.fleuraustrale.fr/
Other boats (atleast 4) might still have some problems there depending how the ice moves at the Queen Maud. Melting season is not over yet however.
Ice charts:
http://glaces.ec.gc.ca/app/WsvPrdCanQry.cfm?CanID=11081&Lang=eng