Another milestone reached: 90˚E

Published 11.08 in category Northern Passage - 2010

Position update 01.50: 75.60393 N, 88.04385 E – (green arrow).

Position update 14.16: 75.96252 N, 88.26862 E

Position update 23.54: 75.81522 N, 90.60901 E – (You may need to zoom out.)

Following the turn of Taymyr’s coastline, the “Northern Passage” is now charting a more easterly course than during the last few days. The going is still slow, tacking against the headwind.

Thorleif plots position
In the dim light of the cabin, Captain Thorleif Thorleifsson plots the position and charts the course of the “Northern Passage”. Preparation and vigilance is paramount – and will soon become even more so, as they move ever-closer to the ice-filled waters off Cape Chelyuskin and the Laptev Sea that lies beyond.

Expedition report, 15.58:
We have now reached 90 degrees longitude. It is amusing to note that this is the same longitude as Bangkok, Thailand – although I can assure you it is not as warm here. At the moment our thermometer indicates a single degree above zero, but it’s nice and sunny. There is still a high-pressure zone in the area, which dampens the activity of the wind. We are still tacking back and forth to make progress along the vast coast of the Taymyr Peninsula.

It is exciting to read the sea charts of the area. They bear witness of four major periods of Taymyr’s history. A quarter of the region’s population is indigenous, consisting of Nganasan, Nenets, Dolgans, Evenks and Enets. Many of the place names are in their languages, no doubt telling of their relationship to the sea and land and the creature they shared it with.

In the Middle Ages, merchants and hunters and trappers come from outside. Some islands are named after their prey, such as walruses and seals.

Later came a period when great explorers set their tracks: Swedes, Russians, even the Germans – and Norwegians, of course. Not long ago we sailed past Sverdrup Island, and this morning we passed Ringnes Island. Soon we will reach the Nordenskiöld Archipelago, also named after a great explorer.

The Soviet Empire has of course left its mark on place names. There is Lenin Island and Bolshevik Island.

There are many exciting discoveries to be made just reading the sea charts!

We are making our preparations to meet the ice. All is well onboard.

Note: There are numerous knowledgeable comments about weather and wind conditions, and satellite coverage problems, to recent blog entries. They’re well worth checking out!

4 comments to Another milestone reached: 90˚E4

  • Reply

    marc de Keyser  /  August 11, 2010

    Map of current atmopsheric situation across the Kara Sea:
    Powerful anticyclone rules and is not expected to clear before the beginning of next week.

  • Reply

    Olav Grinde  /  August 11, 2010

    Thanks for the forecast, Marc.
    Let’s all hope that this is one of those rare times when the weather man is wrong! 😉

  • Reply

    Neven  /  August 11, 2010

    Great forecast, Marc. I’ll keep an eye on your site.

    Olav, do you know how many days Thorleif and Børge will need to reach the ice east of Vilkitsky Strait?

  • Reply

    Neven  /  August 11, 2010

    I’d guesstimate 4-5 days when I see how much they progressed between 01:50 hrs and 23:54 hrs.

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