Wednesday, September 4, 2013

S/V PAS PERDU LE NORD (LOSE NOT THE NORTH) aground between Barrow and Wainwright Alaska in 25kt winds - crew airlifted off now waiting for tug assistance

20130908 UPDATE:
Anonymous just posted:
Belgium sailing ship "Perd pas le Nord" aground in Peard Bay (North of Wainwright) afloat today (2013 September 8th) sailing to Nome now, everything ok on board.

Lets take a look at the two approaches into Peard Bay:





I would not recommend either because each requires skilled navigation with a sailboat likely drawing a 6 feet draft. Are you willing to risk grounding? My advise is to stay offshore in deeper water and control your vessel in the seaway. If you must anchor in Peard Bay then consider using your skiff with a lead-line for sounding the bottom to confirm a safe route. The east entrance with a deep channel looks to be the best choice. Expect strong tidal currents when this bay is flooding or draining.


NOTE: It has been two days since I received word of this tragic event. I cannot find another news item regarding the details - could this be a cruel joke?  I hope not but then I do if it saves the yacht since no one was hurt.

If anyone has information about this grounding please comment below.

Thanks!

- - - ### - - -

PAS PERDU LE NORD (DE)
Nicolas Mouchart & Florence Lutje Spelberg
Caroff 12 m
East to west NWP
http://perdpaslenord.be/


Articles: 
http://www.yachtingsud.com/_mdb/destination/53fr_YS917-PerdspasNord.pdf

Weather forecast:
Zone Forecast: Point Franklin to Cape Halkett (PKZ235)
...SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH LATE THIS MORNING......

Synopsis...A RIDGE OF HIGH PRESSURE WITH A 1018 MB CENTER NORTHWEST OF WRANGELL ISLAND WILL REMAIN STATIONARY THROUGH THURSDAY AND THEN DRIFT NORTH. LOW PRESSURE OVER SOUTHWEST ALASKA WILL WEAKEN WHILE A NEW AND WEAK LOW PRESSURE CENTER FORMS NEAR CAPE LISBURNE FRI AM AT 1004 MB. THIS LOW CENTER WILL DRIFT NORTH FRI AND FRI NIGHT. 

Today: NE winds 25 kt...diminishing by noon. Seas 9 ft. Fog.
Tonight: NE winds 20 kt. Seas 7 ft. Freezing spray.
Thu: E winds 15 kt. Seas 5 ft. 
Thu Night: E winds 20 kt. Seas 4 ft. 
Fri: E winds 20 kt. Seas 5 ft. 
Fri Night: E winds 20 kt. Seas 5 ft. 
Sat: E winds 20 kt. Seas 10 ft. 
Sun: SW winds 20 kt. Seas 10 ft. 



Lets take a look so that everyone can learn from this tragedy:

Tuktoyaktuk to Nome Harbor: TOTAL: 1,077nm
Leg1 Tuktoy to Herschel Island - 135nm
Leg2 Herschel Island to Barter Island - 120nm
Leg3 Barter Island to abeam Prudhoe Bay - 90nm
Leg4 Abeam Prudhoe Bay to Elson Lagoon entrance - 164nm
Note: Elson Lagoon is a harbor of sorts - it is shallow - caution!
Leg5 Elson Lagoon entrance to Point Barrow - 5.5nm
Leg6 Point Barrow to Barrow - 9.2nm
Leg7 Barrow to Wainwright - 80nm
Leg8 Wainwright to Icy Cape - 40nm
Leg9 Icy Cape to Cape Lisburne - 126nm
Leg10 Cape Lisburne to Point Hope - 37nm
Leg11 Point Hope to Wales - 165nm
Note: Port Clarence is designated as a harbor of refuge
Leg12 Wales to Nome Harbor - 105nm

The National Weather Service widely broadcast the approaching low pressure system "GALE" before this snapshot on 20130829. The storm is shown slamming through the Bering Sea and moving towards Nome.

A prudent mariner planning a 1,000nm voyage through Arctic Alaska would of:
1) Checked the marine weather and identified the bad and the good weather windows. There is no way you could of missed the above major low pressure weather system. Unless you didn't check weather?
2) Identified harbors of refuge should a storm or emergency arise. Coast Pilot aboard? Paper charts? Talk with local skippers...
and
3) Consider traveling with a buddy boat if the area or circumstance was of concern.

I believe a yacht could of departed Tuktoyaktuk for Herschel Island without a problem. Re-checked weather at Herschel and then proceeded on to Barter Island if there was a need to "push it". Point Barrow is open (SIF) with no apparent sea ice blockages on the entire Alaska Arctic coast according to the NWS Ice Analysis (below).  Else the boat could of stayed at Herschel Island and explored the rich Arctic and whaler history of the area. Once the approaching weather system past you would of identified a new weather window or held Herschel for better weather.  


Bottom line - I see this grounding as human error. Either error in navigation or exceeding the skills and abilities of the person on watch to manage the vessel and/or systems in the encountered weather conditions. Did the vessel operator sail intentionally into forecast bad weather? You decide. Or was the boat operator trying to navigate through the shoals into Elson Lagoon? I do not know. What is known is a major low pressure weather system was approaching just by checking any weather source be it marine or public. The operator of this yacht continued underway with tragic results.  

Peard Bay is not recognized as a harbor of refuge - it should be avoided.

The rest of the story remains to be told... 

Stand by for updates...


Follow on... yacht skipper recounts the NW Passage as "hard, hard"

Belgian yacht Perd pas le Nord has already gone on to Arctic Alaska waters. Via satellite, skipper Nicolas Mouchart  was indicating to me (Patrick Reader, Arctic05 Founder) on Tuesday: « … Hello. J’ai quitté Tuk. Serais dans 24h à Herschel…Sinon dur dur, mais tout ok… (Hello. I left Tuk. Will be in 24 hours in Herschel…Otherwise, hard hard, but everything is ok…)». Wishing to the crew a safe journey! 

What does a 2007 NW Passage yacht abandoned in the Bering Sea look like when found up on a sandy beach? A total loss by the insurance company.



7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Any more news on this?

Captain on GREY GOOSE said...

None. I see the USCG icebreaker HEALY off Point Barrow (likely provided support) but none of the news services have anything. Will update when I learn more.

Anonymous said...

Just passed Barrow Point and spoke to the fishing vessel ALASKA KNIGHT (Call sign WDD6948)enroute Nome and they know nothing of this.

Anonymous said...

Perd pas le nord is in Nome harbor 9-11-13

Captain on GREY GOOSE said...

Why have a website/blog if ou are not going to add content?

PERD PAS LE NORD - please add content.

Nicolas Mouchart said...

Hi, Perd pas le Nord is in Nome since the 11 of August.
It stay aground 5 days in Peard Bay at the south of Seahorse Island.
No real damages...
40 cm of water came back with the west wind, and we could sail again!
There is a wind tide in this area! The charts are totally wrong, and the stream is strong in the pass... Take care

Captain on GREY GOOSE said...

Nicolas,
Thanks for the update.
Why did you originally attempt to enter Peard Bay?
Standing by,
Doug

BTW - your website is empty - we would appreciate seeing pictures and dialog of your NWP adventure.

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