For the first time in history, two French, and Rodolphe André Sébastien Roubinet, attacked from two weeks to a full crossing of the Arctic ice East to West, from Alaska to Spitsbergen (Norway).
This is undoubtedly the most amazing journey in the world started this summer. Roubinet Sebastian, 36, flirts with the Arctic since 2007 when he was the first browser to pass the sail the Northwest Passage between the Atlantic and Pacific, on board Boots, a small catamaran 7.50 m, manufactured by him.
July 14th is aboard Ti Slipper, a new hybrid prototype was also designed by him catamaran 5 m long and 2.40 m wide, with two inflatable floats on skis, pole and two sails, both boat, sand and ice sledge-he left in company Rodolphe André, 37, Point Barrow in northern Alaska and headed to the geographic North Pole.
The distance between the coast of Alaska and Spitsbergen, the main island of the Svalbard archipelago, is about 3,000 km, the two adventurers expect to cover in two months. "This is a technological and sporting challenge," says Sébastien Roubinet, joined Wednesday on white ocean satellite phone. "In July and August, the ice is in complete disarray with alternating water and ice.
Our lightweight boat is able to sail and slide on the ice, wind-driven or towed like a big pulk. "
Ti Boots weighs 150 kg empty and 400 kg load. Both floats are kevlar, connected by a cockpit with a roof consisting of solar panels. The retractable mast and skis are carbon.

Bear and ice ridges impassable

From the outset, the two men had to be in tune harsh climate and topography chaotic, constantly in motion, the summer ice.
"We played in a first time, vast fields of old ice very difficult to cross, with pressure ridges as many insurmountable obstacles that had to circumvent the efforts of grueling prices, towing the boat" says Sebastian.
The ice is then flattened, alternating ice sheets "passable" and navigable water bodies cast, more or less deep.
"The temperature hovers around 0 ° C. We are moving in an unlikely landscape, drowned in the fog, where the permanent sunshine of boreal summer broadcasts with just his sheer rays through the cottony mass. The wind is not or little rendezvous. We spend more time to sail or tow slip, "tells the browser.
The two men stopped to camp every night.
This is often the time of the visits of the Lord of the place, the polar bear.
"We crossed a dozen from the start. This approach more or less close to us.We had a few scares. Yesterday, a female and her cubs charged and stopped a meter from our camp. It had to be from firecrackers to scare ... "says Sebastian.
Another time, it's a whale, moving under the thin layer of ice, which came to drop his powerful blast near Ti Boots.
Science board
This new Arctic adventure doubles as a scientific expedition measuring continuously with an electromagnetic sounder, the thickness of the ice was, the melting is accelerating over the last thirty years with important implications for global climate change.
The measures identified "on the ground" will complement those made by the new CryoSat II satellite, launched in spring 2010 but has been operational since the beginning of the expedition "The Path of the Pole."
Onto the same theme, you can follow at this time attempt the Tour of Cape Horn by Yvan Bourgnon and Sebastien Roubinet