Monday, September 16, 2013

S/V TARA pushes eastward late in Arctic summer season risking ice blockages as well as being beset in sea ice for a 10 month winter stay

Single-season Arctic Circumnavigation counterclockwise (West-to-east)
Including Northeast and Northwest Passages (NOTE: For a NWP TARA must cross BOTH the Pacific Ocean Arctic Circle (Bering Strait) and the Atlantic Ocean Arctic Circle (Davis Strait)
ETD 20130518 Lorient France ETA 20131206
36m x 10m x 1.5-3.5m aluminum expedition schooner motor-sailer

Sidebar comment:

I think my memory serves me right that this vessel was originally built for the Will Steiger Expedition down to Antarctica back in the early eighties, and built in a French naval yard, where rumor has it that the French navy picked up the tab of the enormous amount of £15 million. Politics? She then languished until almost the year 2000 in France at Nantes where the Cousteau organisation purchased her, and Sir Peter Blake who was her skipper lost his life when he was murdered by pirates in the Amazon.  I don’t know whether she is still owned by that same corporate organization, but the idea of the vessel is that she monitors environmental projects, and of course is heavily sponsored by the French.

Ship Names History

Name of ship

for the last time
TARA V2009-10-01 

TARA has a strategic advance (as a motor vessel does when compared to a sailing vessel) - diesel main engines (2) with enough fuel tankage to power (as opposed to sailing) on schedule over 5,000 miles non-stop. It is likely she could motor straight through the Passage non-stop before a hard freeze-up.

Check back for updates... 


EW3 said...

Capt, Suspected that they would go for it.
Not because of any great knowledge of the arctic, but they would look like fools if they abandoned the effort at barrow, and the ice never filled in to block them. They have too much invested to let that happen.
At this time, the only fly in their ointment could be some ice blocking the eastern end of the bellot strait.

Captain on GREY GOOSE said...

I think you have your ends mixed up - no problem as of 20130917 at Bellot Strait east side which is into Prince Regent Inlet and Gulf of Boothia. There IS A BLOCKAGE on the WEST side of Bellot Strait into Peel Sound and Franklin Strait.

It is late in the season so I'd expect more blockages with ice forming overnight according to CIS ice charts - it is a real crap shoot.

EW3 said...

Capt, I see you anticipate ice growth/movement much better then I. That that the east side of bellot st, by fort Ross would be the stopper. That was mostly based on the drift in Peel Sound moving north, so I figured the west end would be clear. But I see things on the west end are going to be blocked long before the TARA can get there.

Captain on GREY GOOSE said...

Never say never - I see CIS ice charts go from SIF (sea ice free) to 3/10 ice concentration overnight... its late in the season - anything can happen - even Fury & Hecla could open and TARA could escape to the south after Bellot Strait... stay tuned in... its going to be very interesting to see the decisions made when presented with the facts...

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