The couple will spend the next five months navigating their way to Greenland and from there through the Northwest Passage. The Northwest Passage is a water route in the Arctic Ocean through the Islands of Northern Canada that connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Up until recent years it had been impassible due to heavy pack ice, but climate change has reduced the pack ice making the passage navigable.
The Parsons left the Lewisporte Marina on June 18 with enough supplies to last them throughout their journey.
Mr. Parsons said, “It should take us about nine days to get to Greenland (from Lewisporte). We are spending one month there working with scientists completing research on bird species.”
Before they leave Greenland the couple will pick up additional supplies that are flown into Greenland from Denmark. They will also be joined by four additional crew members — one of them being their son — in Upernavik.
The Parsons have their sailboat equipped with GPS, radar, and an automatic identification system (AIS) that allows them to view the size and position of other shops in their vicinity on a monitor and satellite phone to aid in navigation and safety during the expedition.
Ms. Parsons said, “We still have traditional paper charts that we use as well as the modern electronic equipment.”
The Parsons anticipate it will take them about 50 days to reach Kodiak, Alaska following the historic route through the Northwest Passage.
When asked why they chose Lewisporte as a starting point Mr. Parsons said, “First of all it’s the first yacht marina as you travel south from Greenland, that’s what brings you here. It’s the helpfulness, friendliness and knowledge of boating from local people that makes you stay. It’s world-class and I have recommended the Lewisporte Marina to my friends.”
The journey of the Arctic Tern and its crew can be followed at: http://www.arcticternexpeditions.co.uk/wordpress/?page_id=24