Après 30H de navigation, nous voilà arrivés à l'entrée du détroit de Bellot. Nouvelle attente. Seuls dans le Hazard Inlet.
After 30H navigation, we have arrived at the entrance of Bellot Strait. New expectation. Only in the Hazard Inlet.
Should we stay or should we go, come on and let me know!
20/08/2013, Levesque Harbor, E Bellot Strait
Tooluka, Arctic Tern and Libellule waiting at Levesque Harbor, just off the eastern end of Bellot Strait. The ice flow in the middle ended up chasing us away from our anchorage. But then we boarded the floe to take some Xmas pictures on top of it, which was real fun.
The ice conditions are still very bad in Bellot Strait. So much so that all the seven sailing boats waiting on this side of the Strait are discussing whether to abandon the whole NW Passage project. The problem is that even if the Strait becomes passable in a week or two, the winter may start early in which case the boats would not make it around Alaska anymore since the ice there is still very close to shore. So the decision is either to turn around and head back down to Newfoundland, or to continue but risk being closed in by ice somewhere around Tuktoyaktuk or Northern Alaska and having to spend the winter in the Arctic. We'll probably need to take the decision this weekend...
20/08/2013 | Douglas Pohl
STAY THE COURSE - BELLOT STRAIT WILL OPEN FOR NAVIGATION TO GJOA HAVEN BY AUGUST 27. POINT BARROW WILL REMAIN OPEN UNTIL LATE SEPTEMBER - ONLY WORRY IS AN ARCTIC SUPER STORM - FIRST GET TO HERSCHEL ISLAND THEN WORRY ABOUT ALASKA WEATHER. USCG ICEBREAKER HEALY WORKING SCIENCE NEAR PT BARROW. USE POWER OF GROUP EFFORT TO RECON BELLOT STRAIT BY SKIFFS TO PLAN GROUP AUG 27 TRANSIT. YOU CAN DO IT! POLAR BOUND IS NEAR PRUDHOE BAY EAST BOUND TO BELLOT STRAIT AT 6KTS. JETSKIERS DEPARTED CAMBRIDGE BAY AUG 19 FOR GJOA HAVEN. ADVISE IF YOU NEED MORE ASSISTANCE. STAY SAFE, DOUG
OK wannabe Northwest Passage captains - make the call.
Yes, the ice is tight along the Arctic Alaska coast but more important is to watch the polar weather systems - wind moves ice!
Uwe from Germany offers comparisons between the last three years for Queen Maud ice charts - Thanks.
While its obvious that Bellot Strait is a choke-point in 2013 it is also important to remember that the ice in just the past day has been changed from 9+ down to 5/10 which tells me there is still melting albedo energy in effect - also remember this sensing is done from satellite and/or aircraft flyover including human observation - its not perfect so a 5/10 could just as likely be 3/10 in this strong tidal area so lets add the Strait's strong flushing tidal currents and you have optimum opportunity for further ice reduction to make the transit in the next week. You should be reconing the Strait in your skiff and making detailed plans - just think of it - seven boat are there - what a big opportunity to use the power of the group.
If you are still at Bellot Strait in the first week of September - you have missed the NWP bus... I'd know and have planned several alternatives and get underway out of the Arctic.
More comments overnight:
21/08/2013 | Roger & Yvonne
Ihr seid wirklich tapfere Seefahrer und Eisbezwinger. Wir staunen nur. Sicher werdet es ihr weiterhin schaffen und vorankommen. Danke, es ist eine grosse Freude eure herzerwärmenden Portraits zu sehen. Die immensen Landschaftsleeren wunderschön. Moustache ist viel in unserem Garten. Yvonne meint, er sehe etwas ruhiger aus. Aber er macht es gut mit unseren Mäusen. Ich habe ihm eure Namen einzeln zu gerufen, dass ihr wohlauf seid. Er hat ganz aufmerksam zugehört. Ich denke er hat es verstanden. Also, weiterhin, viel Bewahrung, Gottes Schutz und gute Weiterreise. Roger & Yvonne
21/08/2013 | Patrick
Une décision pas facile, mais il faut parfois écouter la voix de la nature et respecter les obstacles ou impossibilités qui se placent sur notre chemin. Peut-être qu'une route alternative apportera aussi de nombreuses satisfactions.
21/08/2013 | Uwe Burkheiser
…depends…in my view the ice situation along the Alaskan Coast deteriorated rapidly since Aug. 6th. THE ICE EDGE CONTINUES ALONG THE BEAUFORT SEA COAST TO NEAR DEADHORSE AND CONTINUES EAST NEAR 70N. THE EDGE IS 15 TO 60 NM OF OPEN WATER. FORECAST THROUGH SATURDAY...NORTH TO NORTHEAST FLOW OVER THE CHUKCHI WILL MOVE THE ICE TO THE SOUTHWEST 10 TO 15 NM THROUGH THE WEEK. THE LOW NORTH OF BANKS ISLAND WILL BRING COLDER NORTHWEST FLOW TO THE BEAUFORT ICE EDGE. THE ICE IN THE BEAUFORT WILL MOVE TO THE SOUTHEAST 10 TO 15 NM. FORECAST VALID...SATURDAY 24 AUGUST 2013 …so regardless of the Bellot situation, the real question is: Are you prepared to winter with the children along the Alaskan Coast… ,,,good luck and godspeed Uwe
I am a professional mariner with 29+ years of sea service... a salty dog - lol - much of it in Alaska - I know and respect Alaska and will tell you that Point Barrow can be up and down like a show curtain but I would not run away just because of what is possible - lets deal in realities - stay focused on what is in front of you - Bellot Strait - then power west to Cambridge Bay, Tuktoy, Hershel Island, Barter Island, Prudoe Bay, Elson Lagoon then Point Barrow to Nome and on to Sand Point? Maybe more important - do you know your boat? Is it well maintained? Can you take it to weather confidently because Alaska is going to be your challenge. Your crew will be put to the test... its not IF but WHEN the weather comes calling. Pick your weather windows carefully by observing the weather approaching from Adak Alaska and from Russia.