Thursday, August 22, 2013

S/V LIBELLULE, Swiss flag catamaran, continues to wait for ice choke-point to melt on 2013 Northwest Passage

Fort Ross, E Bellot Strait (Ice choke-point on west side of Bellot Strait)
21/08/2013, Fort Ross, E Bellot Strait

Everything is relative. A few days ago, we sailed 24 hours round trip to get gas, fresh food and to check in Canada: fun to imagine that he would have had the same number of hours to fly Zurich to Shanghai! Distances, time. Tell us if Bellot Strait is freed of its ice, it would take only 2H to be on the other side (15 nautical miles) and then we would already be in 2 days GjoaHaven! So far, all seven boats are still waiting and arm themselves valiantly patience. Both boats have attempted the passage today but still came back empty-handed. However, we remain grandespoir the ice dissolves quickly and the cap opens, which would mean that we would finally on the other side! Yeeah! For now, we are anchored in front of the eastern entrance of the strait, Fort Ross and can thus observe the tides and current changes at best. For those who are concerned land: do not worry! We have ice to the eye, the mood on board is in good shape, we have enough food to last for many days and still have enough fuel to cross the oceans of the world (uh, or ... more truthful, to warm us another month -). Swiss bonds, our reserves are sufficient chocolate (... we have also to concoct good fluxes rum - and "special message for Julie ... Yves is just preparing samosas salmon- unfortunately caught ourselves, since we are in Canada, except for a tiny little fish, Sylvain is not caught ... but otherwise ... life is good! ") The content of our bottles of wine does its part not resist the cold and all our bottles have turned sour. Yesterday we received a visit from our English neighbors (ArcticTern) and Dutch (Tooluka), and spent a nice evening with them! The evening was also watered not only their good bottles (thanks!) but the songs on the guitar, without telling us that we are led to the anthem of the North West passage (another Canadian boat Traversey III, we sent a few days ago).So now, if all goes well, we think we also identify places go tomorrow to the three quarters of the way, where the ice is still to this day in the orange areas. Afffaire to follow! PS: A big thank you to those / those who take the time to write us your comments: it is always the joy on board to discover the messages that appear on the screen! ;)))) PS2 Foiera the message: we met yesterday 6 muskoxen and they send you their best wishes!

NW Passage
Comments [3]

22/08/2013 | The Baelums
Dear all, What an adventure!! We keep our fingers crossed and hope for the ice to clear the passage long enough for you to sneak through. Keep us posted!! If you get too bored waiting you could always go hunting for one of those moscus oxes – I bet you it will be the best steaks you’ve ever tasted!! Just remember to buy the licence at the local police station first… Big hugs from the Baelums. P.S. And be careful with any kind of forecasts from DMI – we have years of experience with these guys, and they should not be trusted..;-)

22/08/2013 | Andreas Herbst
Just a thought - on my Screen here in Switzerland I got this morning pictures/news / reports from Egypt, Niger and Myanmar..... and now from NW passage. You know - I love you for that!

22/08/2013 | Douglas Pohl
Thanks for the updates - please use boat names instead of "Both boats". FYI - reading three blogs from the seven boats in Bellot Strait area you get three different reports including supporting pictures at times. Suggest cooperation. Question: You have 37 days @5kts to reach safe harbor in Sand Point Alaska. Much of this will be open ocean during storms, how do the children handle rough sailing? Is Sand Point your winter harbor? Be ready to depart on August 27th - lucky day!

- - - snip - - -


72°00' N 094°13' W - Depot Bay, Fort Ross, Bellot Strait
3,6 gr
2,5 gr
NW 5 Bft
994->1003 hPa
mijlen vandaag:
10 M
mijlen totaal sinds upernavik:

After a good nights' sleep we left our safe anchorage to sail to Depot Bay, Fort Ross. This is the site of a former Hudson Bay Company post, which was deserted in 1948, after 11 years of struggling against severe ice conditions. We enjoyed the sailing, under jib alone, and anchored again here at 13.30. Next to the interesting store house, the main attraction for us was the hill overlooking the entrance of Bellot Strait. With the binoculars we could see 2 yachts in the far distance, in their attempt to get through to the W side. A little later a plane flew over, at low altitude, obviously reconnoitering the ice situation in the strait. After it had done 3 tours over the strait it informed us of the ice situation: clear until the last part, where it was closed for 1,5 mile with congested ice. We missed part of his call, but found out later that they had seen a polar bear walking over to the other side... obviously too much ice for a yacht to sail through. Another few hours later th
e 2 yachts returned, beaten by the experience, but safe. So we're still the same 7 yachts. We're calling and meeting each other, sharing stories, coffee and cakes, and comradeship. We're still discussing our options, and haven't decided on anything yet. Tomorrow is another day, sleep well, Eef


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