Sunday, September 15, 2013


The "FAT LADY" sung her aria today, September 15th... the Northwest Passage 'opera' ice melt show has ended for 2013. It is only a short time until the sea turns to ice and watercraft will be stopped from movement until next year's summer melt season. Enjoy a Rip Van Winkle 10 month sleep under a down comforter. 

Who is still in the Arctic as of today? September 15th? I recommend you start making plans to winter over.

It ain't over till (or until) the fat lady sings is a colloquialism. It means that one should not presume to know the outcome of an event which is still in progress. More specifically, the phrase is used when a situation is (or appears to be) nearing its conclusion. It cautions against assuming that the current state of an event is irreversible and clearly determines how or when the event will end. The phrase is most commonly used in association with organized competitions, particularly sports.

The phrase is generally understood to be referencing the stereotypically overweight sopranos of Grand Opera. The imagery ofRichard Wagner's opera cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen and its last part, Götterdämmerung, is typically the one used in depictions accompanying reference to the phrase. The "fat lady" is the valkyrie Brünnhilde, who is traditionally presented as a very buxom lady with horned helmetspear and round shield (although Brünnhilde in fact wears a winged helmet. Her aria lasts almost twenty minutes and leads directly to the end of the opera, though the character Hagen has one final line, "Zurück vom Ring!", to sing after Brünnhilde's death, and there is also a substantial orchestral finale.[1] As Götterdämmerung is about the end of the world (or at least the world of the Norse gods), in a very significant way "it is [all] over when the fat lady sings."

Known yachts to be in the Arctic on the 15th of September 2013:

ANNA (SWE) - Heading for Greenland with plans to winter-over in Holsteinborg.
DODO'S DELIGHT (GBR) - Underway to Greenland with plans to winter-over in Holsteinborg.
EMPIRICUS (USA) - Wintering over in Cambridge Bay on the hard
GITANA (USA) - Gjoa Haven with plans to winter over in Cambridge Bay
HANNAH (?) - status unknown
LADY DANA (POL) - Underway to the east from Russia for Nome Alaska - then?
LE MANGUIER (FRA) (known as MANGO) - Wintering over in the sea ice near Paulatuk NWT
NOEME (FRA) - status unknown at this time
OCTOPUS (KY) - Beechey Island - plenty of power and fuel to escape before freeze-up either to the east or back to the west.
POLAR BOUND (GBR) - East bound on 6th NW Passage waiting weather at Pond Inlet
TARA (FRA) - Departed Pevek Russia eastbound attempting single season Arctic circumnavigation
TRANQUILLO (NED) - status unknown

So there you have it. More vessels wintering over in the Arctic than at anytime in memory. That should be a big hint to anyone thinking about a 2014 NWP.

Published on Jul 4, 2013
"That's What Friends Are For" is a 1982 song written by Burt Bacharach and Carole Bayer Sager and introduced by Rod Stewart for the soundtrack of the film Night Shift.

The song is far better known for its cover version by Dionne Warwick and Friends. A one-off collaboration featuring Gladys Knight, Elton John and Stevie Wonder, each of whom curiously had previously reached the Hot 100's top 40 with his/her own song about part-time loving, released as a charity single in the United Kingdom and the United States in 1985, it was recorded as a benefit for American Foundation for AIDS Research, and raised over US$3 million for that cause. The tune peaked at number one for three weeks on the soul chart and for four weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 in January 1986 - becoming the final US number one for all but John - and became Billboard's number one single of 1986. In the U.S., it was certified Gold on January 15, 1986 by the RIAA. Elton John played piano and Stevie Wonder played harmonica; both previously worked together for 1983's I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues. In 1988, the Washington Post wrote, "So working against AIDS, especially after years of raising money for work on many blood-related diseases such as sickle-cell anemia, seemed the right thing to do. 'You have to be granite not to want to help people with AIDS, because the devastation that it causes is so painful to see. I was so hurt to see my friend die with such agony,' Warwick remembers. 'I am tired of hurting and it does hurt.'

Dionne and Friends' version also listed at #61 on Billboard's Greatest Songs of all time.

On March 17, 1990 an AIDS benefit titled That's What Friends Are For: Arista Records 15th Anniversary Concert was held at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. One month later, CBS aired a two-hour version of the concert on television. The celebrity guests and Arista label performers were: Air Supply, Lauren Bacall, Burt Bacharach, Eric Carmen, Chevy Chase, Jane Curtin, Clive Davis, Taylor Dayne, Michael Douglas, Exposé, Whoopi Goldberg, Melanie Griffith, Hall & Oates, Jennifer Holliday, Whitney Houston, Alan Jackson, Kenny G, Melissa Manchester, Barry Manilow, Milli Vanilli, Jeffrey Osborne, Carly Simon, Patti Smith, Lisa Stansfield, The Four Tops, and Dionne Warwick. "That's What Friends Are For" was the finale song sung by Warwick and cousin Houston before being joined on the stage by the other guests of the event. Over $2.5 million was raised that night for the Arista Foundation which gave the proceeds to various AIDS organizations.

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