“We insist on sailing!”

Published 12.08 in category Northern Passage - 2010

Position update 06.08: 76.01044 N, 91.11279 E – (green arrow).

Position update 13.47: 76.0791 N, 91.67352 E – (zoom out, if needed).

Position update 15.51: 76.14017 N, 91.86388 E – As you can tell, this is slow going!

Position update 00.09: 76.25982 N, 93.76923 E

In the wake of Nordenskiöld and Chelyuskin
The “Northern Passage” is sailing in the wake of famous explorers. Her immediate destinations
– the Nordenskiöld Archipelago and then Cape Chelyuskin – are named after two of them.

White rainbow
There are moments of immense beauty on our voyage – such as a couple of days ago, when
this white rainbow arched the sky over a windstill Kara Sea.


Expedition report, 15.54:
“A strong high-pressure zone is still covering Taymyr – and for the second day we have hardly any wind. That’s rather frustrating. The “Northern Passage” is sailing along at a meagre 1–2 knots. To make matters worse, what little wind there is is blowing right in our faces, forcing us to tack east then north, east and north, to make any progress whatsoever.

Stanislav is devouring all that we have of charts and descriptions of these waters. The required library is quite extensive. There are many surprising facts to be gleaned. For instance, we are currently near Belucha Island, where a German submarine sank a Russian vessel in 1942. That’s a quite a distance removed from the battles that most of are familiar with from our history classes. Tradition is still respected – vessels that pass this spot sound their ship horn, in memory of the brave Russian sailors who died in the cold Arctic waters on that tragic day.

We are not far from our next big milestone: Cape Chelyuskin. At the moment the “Northern Passage” may not seem to be making much headway, but we are stubborn and will persevere.

As you well know, our goal is to be the first to sail both the Northeast Passage and Northwest Passage during one and the same season. And I underscore the word sail – that means we are not using our modest outboard motor. Other boats and vessels that have passed this way have by and large used their engines. Many people have asked us why we don’t simply fire up our engine, and there you have our answer: We insist on sailing.

That may mean it’s slow going at the moment. However our meteorologist tells us we can expect the wind to return in another day or so. Just wait – you can be sure we’ll soon be speeding along the waves!”

Best regards,

6 comments to “We insist on sailing!”6

  • Reply

    marc de Keyser  /  August 12, 2010

    The weather remains stable: sunny/fog patches/hardly any wind. Our hope for some wind is a small depression, deepening on shore:

  • Reply

    Olav Grinde  /  August 12, 2010

    Thanks for the weather update, Marc!

  • Reply

    Neven  /  August 12, 2010

    Marc, ECMWF is forecasting a very big low over the Kara Sea after this weekend. Here is a link (press N-Hem., and then 500 hPa, 96 hrs). Do you think this cyclone might cause strong winds that push away the last of the remaining shorefast ice?

  • Reply

    Neven  /  August 12, 2010

    Ah, I just read this on your blog, Marc:

    Our hope to get some wind is this low pressure system developing on the continent of Russia. This feature is expected to travel Northwards on Saturday and as a consequence the wind will increase along the coast.

    If Børge and Thorleif make it through Vilkitsky Strait this weekend and those winds start blowing the ice away from the coast, timing might be perfect. I certainly hope this will be the case.

  • Reply

    marc de Keyser  /  August 12, 2010

    Neven, thanks for your reply,

    the big depression for next weekend is a diffrent one than the one that deepens on Saturday.
    On monday there is indeed a very extensive depression entering the Kara Sea. It’s track from there is still uncertain, so it is difficult to say at this stage how the wind is going to change than.
    Yes a little bit of a SE’ly wind is always good right now.

  • Reply

    Mari Sveen  /  August 13, 2010

    Morsomt å lese bloggen deres. Jeg var ikke klar over den før nå, men har nå lest igjennom alt som er å lese.
    Lykke til videre på ferden! Jeg følger med og krysser alt av fingre og tær for at alt går som det skal.


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