Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Sailing Catamaran LIBELLULE makes if official as the first catamaran to complete an east to west Northwest Passage

Bering Strait – HHUURRAAYY !!!
10/09/2013, Bering Strait, on the International Date Line between Alaska and Siberia

This morning Sep 10th, we crossed the Arctic Circle at 10:57 LTC (18:57 UTC).

This afternoon Sep 10th, we crossed Bering Strait at 17:50 LTC (01:50 UCT on Sep 11th).

With this, we have officially finished the North West Passage from East (Arctic Circle in Davis Strait) to West (Arctic Circle just north of Bering Strait) after 4,000 nm (appr 7,500km) across the Arctic waters and ice of Greenland, Canada and Alaska.

The sun was shining, for the first time since Herschel Island/Canada, and we could clearly see Siberia on our starboard side and Alaska on our port side. We navigated between Big Diomede Island (Russia) and Little Diomede Island (USA), probably carefully monitored by Coast Guards on both sides. Due to a reef just off Little Diomede Island, we had to navigate a few miles into Siberian territory, and by doing so, not only crossed the international sea border, but also the official date line. So we went from Tuesday to Wednesday, and back to Tuesday, which was fun, of course. And duly celebrated with our last beer and our last bottle of rum...


Now we are on our way to Nome (another 130 nm), where we will officially clear into the US, and where half of the crew will leave the boat (before the rest of the crew will head off to Dutch Harbor and Hawaii). We have just spotted a walross colony on nearby Fairway Rock. Life is beautiful...

Approaching Bering Strait
10/09/2013, Bering Strait, Little and Big Diomede Island

5 nm to go !


Rick said...

Well done. Have any yachts made it through this year without ice-breaker assistance? Has an ice-breaker been required in past years to allow the boats to pass through the passage? Is an asterisk used when ice breaking is required?

Captain on GREY GOOSE said...

Rick, 99% of the vessel do not require assistance - in previous years an icebreaker has assisted on occasion - look this blog over closely and all of the answers to your questions are here. Here is the list of official NWP transit vessels - notations indicate icebreaker assistance. Look here:

Anonymous said...

Asterisk required for icebreaker assistance.

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