Clouds Have Cleared Over The Ship Of Fools!

After more than a month of cloudy weather, the skies have cleared over the Northeast Passage, and the ice is finally visible. What could possibly go wrong with trying to navigate a small craft through this?


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41 Responses to Clouds Have Cleared Over The Ship Of Fools!

  1. annieoakley says:

    They are going to Sail through that?

    • tonyheller says:

      That is their route!

    • Rud Istvan says:

      They could slow motor thru some before getting stuck because can maneuver. No way to sail because you cannot trim to necessary constant course corrections. They are stuck untilo this clears, if it clears.

      • annieoakley says:

        I know. I am just wondering why they chose a sailboat in the first place. I have sailed a bit in the Chesapeake Bay. I see they have a little motor but…. It is almost a trolling motor. Truly insane. They will get stuck and crisis pearl clutching will ensue.

        • Rud Istvan says:

          Nah. They have two SRIRB, 8 hp outboards each. But the main engine is a good old Perkins 86 hp naturally aspirated diesel. Almost indistructable.
          My 36 sloop had an equivalently indestructible Yanmar 3 cylinder 27 hp. Same engine as my compact farm tractor. So knew the engine mechanics doubled. Just put on a bigger boat alt to faster charge the house bat bank. Took a bigger belt tension. Same hot water from engine exhaust, same hull speed. Worked wonderful for over a decade of great lakes sailing.

  2. BobW in NC says:

    “…and they’ll have fun, fun, fun ’till their Daddy takes their T-Bird away”

  3. Latitude says:

    ..can’t be done

    • Lawrenec13 says:

      As long as the Vodka lasts it can be done………….in their febrile addled minds.

      • zip adee says:

        Their desire for the ‘success’ of this expedition will drop exponentially once the vodka and whiskey run dry and the withdrawal symptoms set in.

        • AndyG55 says:

          That’s the trick

          As they use up the “ballast water” ,of which there seems to be a plentiful supply, the ship floats higher and higher. ! :-)

          I hope they have enough food as well.

        • Rud Istvan says:

          Note that Turney’s Antarctic Ship of Fools was rescued by Chinese icebreaker helicopter on New Years day, only after the bar supplies ran out celebrating New Year’s eve foolishly stuck in the ice. They of course left the ship’s Russian crew behind to fend for themselves. Perhaps not all the vodka was at the bar.

          • Colorado Wellington says:

            The Russians were not “left behind”. I think they were only happy to be rid of the insufferable turkey and his entourage.

            And you think they may have stowed away some of the turkey’s vodka?

            Well, I won’t say they did and I won’t say they didn’t, but I will say that Russians who wouldn’t cheat to keep some for themselves didn’t want it bad enough.

  4. AndyG55 says:

    TH, what link did you used for that image please.

    I’m using, and it hasn’t updated to 1/8 yet.


      • AndyG55 says:

        Thanks, There must be something in the url I am using that is locking it to the wrong day.

        What I was interested in was where the Northabout is currently laidabout.

        As far as I can figure they are at the yellow circle on this image.
        I was thinking, that if the wind became unfavourable, the ice circled in light blue could actually block them in.

        Wouldn’t that be fun :-)

        • AndyG55 says:

          ps. the wordpress image compression seems to allow for screen zoom without pixelisation.

          Image is much easier to see if you zoom to say 300%

        • Stewart Pid says:

          On a positive note they would have lots of ice for their vodka since they seem to start happy hour about 8 AM everyday except when the rough seas have them all tossing their cookies.
          Jim promises the wind (or blow torch Reggie) will clear this all up in 10 days or so … time will tell but I’m glad it isn’t me tucked in a cove up there.
          To give Jim his dues he did link to the registration for boats planning to sail up there … I’m not sure where from or to but there were hundreds and most are ice rated. The number of boats planning to deliver goods to northern Russia got me thinking the ice will get beat to shit by all this traffic. Although they will likely sail in groups and all follow the path cleared by the first. However this may give the Northabout the pathway they need.

          • AndyG55 says:

            Nikoli is a Russian sailor.

            He almost certainly has contact with ice breakers and other ships, and knows when and where those ships will attempt passage.

            We will NOT here about it in any Northabout logs or post though.

        • Colorado Wellington says:

          I’m sure you have the location right. That’s Pilot Makhotkin Island to the east of Taymyr Island. They are anchored on the north side of the inlet.

        • R. Shearer says:

          They’re lucky they got to shelter when they did!

    • Andy, looks like Tony got the image from NASA WorldView here:

      I retrieved a false color image for the same area using the Terra 3-6-7 rgb option where ice shows up as red. Bolshevic Island is at the bottom of the image and Russia mainland at the top. The image is facing approximately to the south (if it loads, I have tried this before).

      • Looks like the image load worked. I have NOT tried this before. Tony beat me to the reply and it also looks like I guessed wrong on where he got the image, but NASA WorldView has the same imagery with a lot more options as near as I can tell.

  5. CheshireRed says:

    These people are actually selfish idiots. The real reason they’re doing it has less to do with ‘raising awareness’ or Saving the Planet and far more to do with having an exciting Arctic trip in a sail boat around the top of the planet – all paid for by other people. Would be dreadfully bad luck if that ice got blown around a little and locked them in nice n solid.

    • Gail Combs says:

      selfish idiots…..

      Isn’t that the definition of Progressives?

    • RAH says:

      Hey man, I had a whole lot of adventures that were all paid for by other people when I was in the Army! Don’t feel guilty about any of them.

      • Neal S says:

        I would say that was definitely different. You were serving your country and in many cases may not have had much choice over what you would be asked to do or where to do it. Thanks for your service.

        • Jason Calley says:

          Hey Neal! Think of this adventure as a teaching mission. All the CAGW enthusiasts who donated will be just a tiny bit smarter once they see that their gifts of time, effort, and money accomplished nothing.

          • Jason Calley says:

            I may have been over optimistic in thinking this is a teaching mission for donors. Rud points out (below) that it is self financed. Wow! Actually, I am impressed; it is unheard of for a CAGW proponent to spend so much of his own money. Kudos to Hempleman-Adams! He put his hand in his own pocket!

  6. Alan Davidson says:

    Anyone know which organizations are financing this trip? Could not see anything on the Polar Ocean Challenge website.

    • Rud Istvan says:

      Hempleman-Adams is a very rich industrialist. Specialty chemicals, plus an investment fund. Probably his own money. He has been to both poles 14 times already on previous private self financed adventures.
      Don Trump runs for president, H-A runs for the poles. Jeff Bazos (Amazon) does rockets. Ted Turner (CNN) used to do America’s Cup sailboats, now does buffalo. Billionaires have hobbies the rest of us don’t. Except Warren Buffet.
      Did a google fu search, came up empty on outside funding. So this jaunt is likely the expedition leader’s vacation money for this year. Self virtue AGW demonstration just a bit more honest than Leonard DiCaprio in Cannes.

      Except H-A is likely failing. The two boats that pulled this trick off in 2010 were an 18.6 meter sloop with much higher hull speed thanks to longer waterline, and a 31 foot catamaran with much higher hull speed thanks to displacement.
      Fun to watch this slow train wreck unfold. Months of merry posts to come.

  7. Andy DC says:

    Someone is going to have to explain to me what the big deal is about sailing through the NW Passage when it was done well over a century ago? Their inability to even get started would indicate to me that there has been not been any significant warming in the last century. It is like they are proving our side of the debate.

    I love it when the other side proves your point in a debate.

    • Rud Istvan says:

      There is lots of evidence that the Arctic ice goes through about a 60 year full cycle increasing then decreasing. Akasofu paper 2010, or my essay Northwest Passage. DMI and Russian summer ice reports. Key to supplying Murmansk with war supplies during WW2 at a nadir. First one year NWP transit was Larsen 1944. Next nadir would have been ~ 2004-2010. Actual most recent ice nadir was apparently 2007 (except for a 2012 cyclone) and ice has been generally increasing since.
      Folks don’t realize that satellite coverage of ice began in 1979, near a natural Arctic ice extent peak. As Tony Heller is fond of pointing out.

      • Gerald Machnee says:

        Actually, there was satellite coverage earlier, but they use only a certain satellite for their convenience. An earlier IPCC Report (1990) had coverage from the early 1970’s which they now ignore. It showed about the same amount of ice as now.

  8. OrganicFool says:

    They shouldn’t drink alone. I’m fixin’ one up tonight in their honor. Vodka, soda, lime and bitters. I’m calling it the Northabout Delusion.

    • annieoakley says:

      Good idea. I am going to mow my lawn as it is a hay field. Northabout Delusion will have to wait.

      • RAH says:

        I mowed my acre yesterday. Two Samul Adams Session Ale (Extra Special Bitter) served their purpose well in the 90 deg. F high humidity weather. Not enough breeze to move my flags.
        After accumulating 9 overtime days in 6 weeks a little break from driving is nice. This has been by far the busiest summer I’ve had in the 4 years 9 months I have been doing this on call driving job. This morning I finally feel completely recovered from last weeks driving marathon. Now until they call me it’s inside work. Put down new carpet in a small room. Old crappy window blinds to replace with the high dollar wood Plantation style type. I have put a total of 37 miles on my motorcycle this summer so far. What a shame.

        • RAH says:

          Well that break didn’t last long. Got the carpet down and the phone rang. Off to Harrisonburg, PA with a load of Red Gold tomato products. Go there, take a break and deliver tomorrow morning.
          So much for the blinds or several other larger projects I have on the Honey do list and for which I already have the materials but not the time. I figure at this rate I’ll get this house just the way I want it about my 70th birthday.

    • AndyG55 says:

      I’m planning some Semillon Sav Blanc with chicken and fetta pastie, mushroom sauce, with side of simple vege.

  9. Jim Hunt says:

    Would it be churlish of me to point out that they’re not “trying to navigate a small craft through that”?

    Allegedly they “are passing the time mixing wine and vodka” instead!

    Or maybe just drying their clothes?

    • AndyG55 says:


      If you can’t even read the comments of the people there…

      why the heck are you bothering to comment?

      “Vodka flowed… wine flowed…”

      NO “Allegedly” ABOUT IT.

    • AndyG55 says:

      Glad to know they have one pair trousers between them.

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