Past the Cape – through to the Laptev Sea!

Published 15.08 in category Northern Passage - 2010

Position update 10.00: 77.77026 N, 104.45256 E

Position update 18.39: 77.53846 N, 106.25221 E

Expedition report, 12.25:
“Today is 15 August. We have passed Cape Chelyuskin this Sunday morning, with a good sailing wind, and we ascertain: There is no ice at this critical cape, which so many have tried to sail around before us. However, we are well aware that there is a thick ice belt a little farther to the east of our present position, and we need to make our way through. That should be exciting, and we shall see how it goes.

It’s strange to think that Roald Amundsen, on his journey with the SS “Maud” in 1914, required two winters to get around this same Cape. Conditions certainly have changed dramatically since then.

We are now at well over 77˚N, 104˚E. In other words, we are pretty high up the map – the whole of the Eurasian continent is now to the south of us. We are sailing from one ocean to another: from the Kara Sea in the west, to the Laptev Sea in the east. The Laptev sea is named after two Russian explorers, Dmitry Laptev and his cousin Kariton Laptev, who explored this area in the 1740s on behalf of the Russian Tsar.

Børge, Stas and I look forward to sailing down toward the ice, and we expect to reach it sometime tomorrow afternoon. We are receiving excellent weather information from the weather forecasting team in Tromsø, as well as from our own meteorologist, Marc, so we have a good basis for deciding how best to manoeuvre through the pack ice.

There is a great mood on board. We are enjoying the exquisite expedition rations that we brought with us.

So far we have seen surprisingly little wildlife up here. There Kara Sea was pretty bleak, there was little wildlife to see. No walruses, some seals and the occasional bird. Up at the Chelyuskin were a few more birds. We wonder whether this is normal, or if it reflects an actual decline in the wildlife in this part of the Arctic. We do not know – but it does seem rather desolate and abandoned up here.

Have a great Sunday!”

– Thorleif

Note: You can read the weather forecasts of expedition meteorologist, Marc de Keyser, here.

16 comments to Past the Cape – through to the Laptev Sea!16

  • Reply

    Hella  /  August 15, 2010

    hey Börge

    jeg er en tysk “jente”, leser din Blog akurat i dag förste gang. Det er ja kjempe interessant. This will be my favorit side …..
    god luck, kjempe god vaer…… viel Glück aus Deutschland


  • Reply

    Tobias Thorleifsson  /  August 15, 2010

    Bra Jobba!!

  • Reply

    Ingrid Ousland  /  August 15, 2010

    congratulations and a big hug to you all from Odd and Ingrid, nå blir det virkelig spennende!

  • Reply

    Gigi Pietrovecchio  /  August 15, 2010

    Great crew and great 31′! Congratulations and good trip!

  • Reply

    Irena  /  August 15, 2010

    well done all of you! let’s pray for the wind now so you can go through the ice!Take care.

  • Reply

    Gustave Brun-Lie  /  August 15, 2010

    Congratulations! A major achievement!

  • Reply

    Henk Lankamp  /  August 15, 2010

    Latest report (12Z) from icebreaker Taimyr (77°36’N 107°36’E):
    wind SE (130°) 9 m/s (17 kt); fog; visibility 500 m; temperature +2,1°C; open ice, less then 3/8 (ICE27039).

    Best wishes from the Netherlands.

  • Reply

    Trygve K. Norman  /  August 15, 2010

    Ja, gratulerer dere – vi følger med for hver rapport. Håper vinden blir mer gunstig i det nye hav 🙂 Trygve

  • Reply

    Nick Barnes  /  August 15, 2010

    Bravo. For me the cape is the notional half-way point on the Northern Sea Route. I wish you good winds and clear waters.

  • Reply

    marc de keyser  /  August 15, 2010

    The axis of a low pressure system stretches out along the 76°N-parallel and forms the separation line between the SE’ly winds to the North of this axis and the SWlies to th South of the axis.
    Such an axis, also known as convergence line, accumulates airmass and, as a consequence it triggers a vertical, upward motion of air. This upward moving air cools and as a result clouds will form and possibly showers and rain as well.
    See image:

  • Reply

    Maria  /  August 15, 2010

    Congratulations, boys! Thanks for sharing this great adventure with all of us. Keep up the good teamwork – and the great mood, Thorleif! I can imagine the smile on your face when you passed the Cape 🙂
    Best wishes from Maria 🙂

  • Reply

    Neven  /  August 15, 2010

    Marc, your weather forecast for the region is excellent.

  • Reply

    Øistein  /  August 16, 2010

    Congratulations with the entrance into the Laptev Sea!

    I am a student currently writing a thesis about the Northern Sea Route and associated shipping risks. Interesting to follow your progress and to get a feel of how it is like to navigate along the route. It is inspiring to turn to this blog, when I have had enough of the books!

    Wish you all the best in the exciting days to come!

  • Reply

    Olav Grinde  /  August 16, 2010

    That sounds exciting, Øystein!
    Please post any reflections that you might have about the Northern Sea Route.
    I’m sure that might be interesting to readers here, and add perspective.


  • Reply

    renie  /  August 16, 2010

    hei helter av is,hav,vind og utferdslyst.
    Følger med og er med og forstår at dette går veldig bra for dere og for ekspedisjonen.Nyt medbrakt og utfordringene og kom hjem og fortell….alt.
    For dette går unna og vet at nordvest pasasjen er åpen og venter på dere.
    Kjærlig hilsen

  • Reply

    Carl Størmer  /  August 16, 2010

    First time on this blog! Great journey + peace of mind at the same time. Best of luck to you all. /Carl

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