Easy Sailing For The Ship Of Fools

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The strong southwest winds over the past two days pushed the ice far off shore, so they should be able to make fast progress now, and blame global warming, Because southwest winds never occurred at lower CO2 levels.

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54 Responses to Easy Sailing For The Ship Of Fools

  1. etudiant says:

    With their TP rationed to 2 squares/day, they have real incentive to make rapid progress.

  2. Neal S says:

    And they are on the move again …

    • David Blake says:

      The ice forecast from a few days ago said it should be clearing up around today.

      The problem is according to their route plan they aim to be in Barrow by the 27th. If they don’t make it will they then be able to get through the Bellot Straight (North West Passage choke point) as per their plan by the 14th September?


      • Neal S says:

        With each passing day and with each setback, their chances of success continue to diminish. They may yet make it, but it would still prove nothing that they would like to prove.

        While it is a grand adventure, and provided they survive without a rescue mission having to be mounted on their behalf, they may have some great tales to tell and experiences to remember, but they really will not have accomplished their stated goal.

        If I laugh at them, it is NOT because I wish them ill. I actually wish them well. But it is because they are being foolish in that they are acting on the false premise that CAGW is real and that ice cover is diminishing. Basically each setback they encounter is the equivalent of an own-goal. But to admire them, is the equivalent of admiring someone who is bashing their head against a wall that they refuse to believe is there.

        Reality always wins in the end, no matter what we may choose to believe.

        • Colorado Wellington says:

          David Hempleman-Adams is an expert on surviving in extreme conditions and he’s keen when he describes his direct observations but his writings on other matters show a very uninformed, shallow and careless thinker. His opinions about global warming and the history of climate seem as ignorant as his musings about the Soviet Union. It is nearly inexplicable because the history is well known. He is well traveled and I am sure he considers himself an educated man. My explanation is that he’s not really interested in subjects beyond the specialized and narrow interests of his adventure expeditions.

          He regrets that he didn’t accept the invitation to Børge Ousland’s and Thorleif Thorleifsson’s successful circumnavigation in 2010 so he decided to run an expedition under his name. I knew people in similar circumstances whose regrets of missing an opportunity drove them to great length to “redo” that part of their life.

          I wonder if he ever publicly acknowledges the gulf between his published “expedition objectives” and what he really experienced. I’d be surprised if he did, whether they make it or not. I think his ego and worries about his public “brand” will prevail. I expect we will see more of the same: He will truthfully describe what he saw and the difficulties of the voyage but he will not make any effort to disassociate it from the global warming propaganda.

          He will be on his next adventure and all this will be history and another notch on his traveling stick.

          P.S. I wish them well myself but I also wish I were wrong about Hempleman-Adams.

      • wizzum says:

        Barrow is about 1600 miles for them, that is a constant cruising speed of 6.5 MPH. If they don’t need to stop for food or fuel and don’t have any more ice hold ups they should be able to make it.

        • wizzum says:

          sorry, missed a leg. that would be about 2000 miles and 7 mph

          • Gail Combs says:

            Not bloody likely if they do it under sail and I do not think they have the diesel on board for the entire voyage to be made by motor. Perhaps they have that much diesel cashed in spots to be picked up along the way but that completely negates the whole idea of ‘sailing’

          • Rud Istvan says:

            Hull speed for Northabout at force 4 wind is ~ 8 knots. That is a 16 knot wind. There are two problems. They wont get that all the way to Barrow. And if stronger, they have to start to reef main and likely furl genny and replace with smaller staysail. Then they will go comsiderably slower. They are basically 10 days behind plan. And NWP ice conditions say they will also have a longer NWP transit than planned, because the western half of Perry Strait is ice choked and unlikely to clear. DMI indicates it is thick multiyear ice piled up on the Canadian side– very different than the single year ice they have mostly been fighting in the Laptev sea. They will have to thread the southernmost NWP route before cutting back north to intersect Perry Strait where it clears, and that will add several days to that leg. Arriving at Pond Inlet two weeks late means they could well get trapped suddenly. It is one of two places where belugas and norwals regularly get trapped for the winter and then fished out of the resulting small breathing holes and eaten by polar bears.

          • Neal S says:

            Still time to book your passage on CRYSTAL SERENITY
            Leaves tomorrow. Hurry. Hurry.

            Wonder how much trouble they will run into???

          • Neal S says:

            Hey, Rud Istvan: I take it the Northabout is not capable of planing safely? I know some smaller sailing craft can do that under the right conditions.

          • wizzum says:

            OK shows I know nothing about sail.

            I don’t mind admitting that, I just assumed they would use sail when able and augment by diesel when they get behind schedule.
            I also got the impression that they needed to make port soon to fill up with vodka and top off with diesel.

          • Neal S says:

            Hey wizzum: don’t forget the SOF also is in danger of running out of toilet tissue. Running out of that can almost be as devastating as running out of Vodka and Wine!! I am sure this will help motivate them to do their best to reach port as quickly as possible. (Or to arrange a meetup with another vessel along the way …)

          • Colorado Wellington says:

            They are down to two squares. Rationing has started. Withdrawal symptoms, scurvy and mutiny next.

          • wizzum says:

            Well perhaps feeling Venezuelan will spur them on, they’ll have to wash instead of wipe.

          • David A says:

            2000 miles? I do not sail, but I assume this means a straight line along their preplanned course. In sailing is not one required to tack, and therefore take a longer route then direct.

            Even assuming sailing downwind ( for those portions which allow this, is there not energy lost except when taking the one direction most effcient on the wind?

            So in short, what is there likely distance required, and what is there likely mean speed along their desired path?

          • Caleb says:

            A Polarcane is blowing up north of them. In theory this should give them strong west winds to hurry them on their way, but strange features can brew up along the edges of these big features as they decay. Like all sailors, in the end success will depend on the mercy of the winds.


          • Analitik says:

            I take it the Northabout is not capable of planing safely?

            The hull shape is wrong (as you’d expect for a boat with the stability you would want for those conditions). The rear needs to be a lot wider and the depth change more gradual. Also the rudder would need to be a lot thinner and deeper


      • Jim Hunt says:

        Small yachts are already happily navigating their way through Bellot Strait:


        The waters there are warmer than “usual”, and Northabout is currently ahead of the schedule of previous successful circumnavigations.

        So far so good? Apart from the lack of loo roll of course!

        • Neal S says:

          Were not those previous successful circumnavigations done in vessels with much higher top speeds?

        • Neal S says:

          Rud Istvan wrote about recent prior successful circumnavigations with respect to SOF …
          “Their two 2010 emulators were a much larger 18.6 meter sloop (longer waterline, faster hull speed) and a smaller 31 foot cat (also much faster hull speed thanks to less displacement).”


          And should SOF fail to make it in one season, I am sure we will hear neither pip nor squeak about it from Hunt.

          • Gail Combs says:

            Of course not. ‘Inconvenient’ information is ALWAYS swept under the rug.

          • Jim Hunt says:

            Inconvenient information such as the fact that Northabout made it through the Vilkitsky Strait earlier than previous successful Arctic circumnavigators, and is currently ahead of them in the race for the dateline too?

        • Colorado Wellington says:

          Admiral Hunt! You were sorely missed that last couple of days but now we can see you were busy getting your whole fleet through.

          Now take care of the stragglers and strays. The existence of the planet hangs in the balance!

  3. TeaPartyGeezer says:

    I thought they were waiting for the ice to melt … not for sea ice to be blown further out to sea by the wind.

    How does ice being blown out of their way prove that the ice is melting???

  4. Steve Fraser says:

    Looks like 20-25 kn winds for the next several days, and temps close to freezing. The polar low is trending toward them a bit, so the winds will pick up, too.

  5. tgmccoy says:

    Stanza from :”Heart of the Sourdough-“Robert Service :

    ” With the raw-ribbed Wild that abhors all life, the Wild that would crush and rend,
    I have clinched and closed with the naked North, I have learned to defy and defend;
    Shoulder to shoulder we have fought it out – yet the Wild must win in the end.”

  6. Neal S says:

    And we have a ships log update (plus they are tweeting on occasion)


    Mon Aug 15th, 20163:30:00 pm
    Speed: 13.21 km/h Heading: SSE
    Elevation: 6.40 m Batt: Normal
    Lat: 76.252435 Lon: 113.388648

  7. Neal S says:

    And now a crew blog update from Ben

    Where he writes about their time riding out the storm last night.
    “At some point during the night we all got up and went into the saloon because the wind was strong enough to be a bit of a worry”

    Mon Aug 15th, 20164:30:00 pm
    Speed: 9.07 km/h Heading: SSE
    Elevation: 6.40 m Batt: Normal
    Lat: 76.151056 Lon: 113.620433

  8. Martin says:

    DMI Arctic Sea Ice Extent graph is suddenly going sideways :)


    • Martin says:

      lots of polar bears will be happier tonight !!

    • dave1billion says:

      I’ve had a theory about that.

      I think the earlier losses are due to the change in the coastal mask.

      Once the coastal ice is pretty much gone then we’re looking at a data set that can reasonably be compared to the previous years’ data.

      I’m one of the seemingly few holdouts that blames bad algorithms over bad faith from the DMI.

    • griff says:

      There’s a hurricane blowing up there… ice is being dispersed

      • Stewart Pid says:

        Griff u are both a liar and an idiot. Further it would seem that you are proof that conception is possible through anal sex!!
        No there is not a hurricane blowing in the arctic.
        FYI: Ryan Maue tweeted about the Polarcane: Ryan states the storm is now cut off from warm air avection and is snowy. It has no clear surface fronts and therefore no strong, ice-bashing surface winds; just a steady circle of breezes creating an anti-Beaufort Gyre.

  9. Don Penim says:

    A larger Cruise Ship of fools has set sail:

    Saturday 13 August 2016:
    … A decision to proceed with plans to sail the first huge cruise liner through the Northwest Passage on Tuesday with 1,000 passengers on board has rekindled rows with environmentalists about the Arctic…..

    The Chrystal Serenity will carry 1,000 passengers, some reputed to be paying up to $120,000. “….

    The Crystal Serenity will set sail from Seward, Alaska, for New York on a 32-day, near 1,000-mile journey through the famous Northwest Passage waterway via Canada and Greenland


  10. Gail Combs says:

    From Polar Bear Science aka Susan Crockford, adjunct professor at the University of Victoria, B.C. Polar bear evolution is one of Dr. Crockford’s professional interests.

    Arctic melt ponds get media spotlight as Laptev Sea ice hits an 11 year high The Laptev Sea is located on the northern coast of Siberia where our Ship of Fools has been trying to sail… ERRRrrr motor, errr pole through the icebergs.

  11. Gail Combs says:

    Here is an interesting map of the Arctic. It shows the Mean Ice Motion January to June for 2006 to 2016 (left) vs January to June for 2016 only. Notice the flow of ice OUT of the Arctic in the left hand image compared to this year’s image.


    This is the best explanation of the reason for the decadal Arctic Ice loss I have seen and it is not because of melting.

    (Of course you have to be able to read maps….)

    • wizzum says:

      Yes, Tony has been on about it for a long time and that is a great representation of his description.

      Is it wind or current driven?

  12. Dr. A says:

    On August 9, 2016, the VIIRS instrument aboard the Suomi NPP satellite captured this true-color image of the Northern Hemisphere featuring a nearly ice-free Northwest Passage (NWP).

    • Jason Calley says:

      Nice photo! Now, of course, the question is, “can they get there and through before things ice up?”

      Oh well, good luck for their safety — although the CAGW aspect of their trip is a load of manure.

  13. Neal S says:

    New Russian Ice Charts are up.


    Looks like the SOF will not have to worry about too much ice in the NE passage. Their biggest challenge will be being able to cover the distance they need to go before things start to ice up in the NW passage.

    And they have a new ships log entry

    And just got a new tweet “Just sailed past Ostrov Bol’shoy Begichev gone forward 2 timezones at once! Now 0400 16Aug Boat time is 22.00 UTC 19”

    Tue Aug 16th, 20163:08:30 pm
    Speed: 11.13 km/h Heading: SE
    Elevation: -1.71 m Batt: Normal
    Lat: 74.180921 Lon: 115.136955

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