Navigating The Arctic Responsibly


Apparently multi-day drinking binges followed by getting stuck in the ice is “navigating responsibly.”

A few weeks ago they were worried about saving the ice and the Polar Bears. Now they are worried about saving themselves from the ice and the Polar Bears.

Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods.

  • Albert Einstein
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59 Responses to Navigating The Arctic Responsibly

  1. Colorado Wellington says:

    David Hempleman-Adams will be awarded Russian Arctic Navigation Responsibility Medals.

    He will need a bigger coat.

  2. RickS says:

    “Einstein” was a pagan (I studied much of Einstein, from Relativity thru Astronomy thru Particle Physics), he’s not here anymore, not good !!!

    That said, and to be honest, if I were up there, Jack and Jim (Beem) (Along with Jose) would have when’t with Me (Us/Friends) along with Snow Mobiles, Dry Suits, Telescopes, Sun Tan lotion, you name it !!!)

    Oh and I left out Beef/Pork Ribs, Rib Eyes, T Bones, Porterhouse, Jumbo Shrimp, Fishing Poles, Corn-on-the-Cobbies, Baked Beans and at least 20 cases of cabrón’as (Corona’s) !

    And then…

    Who can stay in 32° water the longest, no blankets allowed, and the losers have to carry a block of ice 100 yards out and back across the ice and back, barefoot, saying over and over “It’s so warm, it’s so warm” !!!!!!!!!

    Goal, NORTH POLE !

    As long as everyone lived with no loss of limbs, it would be AWESOME !

    And I left out Golf, bring clubs, golf balls and a few flags, Golf under the Mid-Night Sun on the Arctic Ice would be FANTASTIC !!!

    And that would be something for the Ages…

    Now that’s a Road Trip !

  3. OrganicFool says:

    At least they aren’t giving up easily. They deserve credit for tenacity. But they never question their own presumptions. Is it even possible for the poles to melt like alarmists envision?

  4. Bruce of Newcastle says:

    As everyone knows, alcohol lowers the freezing point of water.
    It’s a great excuse.

  5. Lawrenec13 says:

    Posted this before but this reminds me of the route of the Northabout

    I’ve tinkered with the lyric feel free to alter. Now here we go, lets sing along.

    Who do you think you are kidding Mr. Hemplie
    If you think the ice is on the run?
    We are the bergs who will stop your little game.
    We are the bergs who will make you think again.
    ‘Cause who do you think you are kidding Mr. Hempie
    If you think the ice is done?

    By the way they are on the move again at 10:00 GMT or is it G&T (gin and tonic)

    Anyhow their recent route looks remarkably like the graphics in the wonderful ‘Dad’s Army’ opening sequence

  6. Aurora Svant says:

    They’re going to run out of Vodka, at this rate !
    The solution :
    Vashe zdorovie!

  7. David Blake says:

    I think they deserve a lot of credit for persevering. I’ve no problem with people attempting adventurous things and a circumnavigation of the arctic – yeah, why not? The whole climate change aspect is a bit of a turn off, but hey, good luck to them.

    If we say they’ve got a month to get to Barrow, AK before the sea ice starts to close in again that’s 720 hours to cover 3,500 miles (if they hug the coastline). So they need a constant 4.86 miles an hour (7.79 km/hour). This slow progress through the ice is going to cost them…! They’ll need to pick up the pace if and when they get through.

    • David Blake says:

      Oops! That’s 3,500 km , not miles, so the above should be 4.86 km/hour or 3 miles/hour.

      • Jason Calley says:

        Of course “success” as originally set by them would mean not just making it to Barrow, but making it to Bristol, England. In the real world, “success” means making it back to almost anywhere that will not have them frozen in the ice.

      • dave1billion says:

        That’s also figuring they are running 24 hours a day for the whole journey, right?

        That’s not very likely.

        • Sara Hall says:

          They will almost certainly have to run for cover and anchor overnight (or longer) on occasion as the weather is bound to turn against them, fairly frequently too, judging by what’s happened so far.

  8. Don B says:

    As much vodka as they have drunk, it is surprising they have not reported that the Arctic is screaming, just as Serreze said.

    • Colorado Wellington says:

      Yes, nobody mentions the screaming! Not even Constance and she seems to have the most compassion.

      The worst part for me is watching how Hempie pokes the poor thing with a pole. What a brute.

  9. Lawrenec13 says:

    Here’s where I think their latest position is on the most recent ice chart. They seem to be hunting the western edge of the ice in a S to SSE direction.

    • Neal S says:

      You are zoomed way too far out for that to be useful. Try zooming in. The fact that a portion of their track seems to cross over land should be a clue that you are zoomed too far out.

      • Stewart Pid says:

        Neal perhaps that’s the Naughtyboats secret plan … when the ice is impassible head out across the tundra …. they would have come up with this strategy while pissed as newts on vodka.

      • Lawrenec13 says:

        If I’d zoomed in closer it would have been harder to judge the two images . I said I think, you can take the image and blow it up.

      • Lawrenec13 says:

        By the way that track line is of their site and as I’ve said I wanted the two images to be compared to ensue whether I had located it correctly. I mean are you really suggesting that the Northabout when over land. Use you sense.

        • Neal S says:

          Please re-read what I actually wrote.

          • Lawrenec13 says:

            Why are you being so awkward it was a try on my behalf to try and locate where they are relative to the sea ice. I wasn’t exactly sure so that why I said ‘I think’. hoping others may agree of have better plots. The reason I never zoomed in was because with the ice map and the tracking map from the Polar ocean Challenge website getting to close makes if difficult to get bearings and perspective as you can not clearly see common features in too close. In fact I was pretty much spot on and from their latest turn east they seem to have found more open or navigable ice. There is a good southern wind at the moment which should help clear the ice from the coast which is precisely where they are now.

            Now stop being a smart arse.

      • Neal S says:

        That is something like the guy looking for his lost keys under a street lamp. When asked where he lost them, he says over there in that dark parking lot. When asked why he is searching by the street lamp, he explains, “it’s too dark where I lost them, so I am here looking where I can see clearly”.

        • Lawrenec13 says:

          Why don’t you produce a more accurate easily viewed version and then you won’t have to search for your keys in the dark.

          • LexingtonGreen says:

            Lawrence, I really don’t get who anyone could cast stones at your post. It was excellent. I got it in two seconds. So I for one would like to express my thanks because I know I can’t easily do what you did. Thank you!!

          • Neal S says:

            I also suspect you were not using the most recent Modis composite image available. The SOF website sea-ice page content may not be as current as the sources they get those from.

            I have produced a better version. And I am not the one who lost their keys.

    • David Blake says:

      Here’s my effort. It’s difficult to get an exact match as the ice chart is a sort of conic projection while the SOF map is more mercator. But it’s good enough to see that they’ve got lots of ice where they are, but if they hug the coast they should hit clearer water.

  10. Neal S says:

    Modis composite for Aug 2-8 in inset from

    Thu Aug 11th, 20161:21:45 pm
    Speed: 13.21 km/h Heading: ENE
    Elevation: 20.61 m Batt: Normal
    Lat: 76.752558 Lon: 108.789238

    The white arrow in the inset is roughly where the ship is at. The inset image is rotated a few degrees counterclockwise with respect to the tracking image and is scaled down slightly as well.

    • Lawrenec13 says:

      No better than my attempt, oh you have to laugh. The image of the ice could be anywhere. 2 out of ten mine was 4 I think.

    • Neal S says:

      Lets just compare side by side, what you produced with what I produced …
      You claimed I could zoom in on your image, so I did that so that the two are
      now at the same scale.

      And this now also makes it obvious you were using a stale Modis composite image, rather than going straight to the source and getting the most recent one available.

  11. Neal S says:

    And here is what is up ahead for our SOF according to Modis composite from Aug 2-8

    • Lawrenec13 says:

      Nice murky image, I take it the arrow is meant to be the NA as its concurs with my images and words in my post. So nothing new here.. The only issue that is really important now is whether the ice will drift north on the southerly which will change to a NNW tomorrow. My guess is they go through the night . That image is so blurry its hard to tell whether its the correct sea ice and if the sea if frozen solid all the way to the shore.

  12. EternalOptimist says:

    It’s almost as if the arctic ice situation is totally dependant upon the wind and has nothing to do with global warming or CO2 at all. Even the SOF constantly talk about the wind conditions. I never heard the comment that they will be able to sneak through if only Obama can get his cap and trade, but they desperately want the wind to blow in the right direction.

  13. etudiant says:

    Just looking at the position data suggests the canny skipper has indeed threaded the needle, passing between the ice and the shore to open water.
    The way to Vladivostok is now clear.
    The lesson for future fools is clear, hire a great skipper and heed him.
    The guys in the Antarctic did not and got stuck. Their Arctic counterparts did and now live to fight another day.

    • Neal S says:

      While I would say it is a bit too early to declare success, I also wrote before that even if they DO manage to get all the way around in one season, it still wouldn’t actually prove anything about the supposed decline of arctic sea-ice. Plus things may get dicey if they really do run completely out of alcohol before their next chance to re-supply. It simply is not good to have too much blood in those Russian sailors alcohol circulation systems.

      In any case, newer ice-charts and modis composite images may prove vital.

    • Colorado Wellington says:

      It’s true you want to hire a great skipper but it goes the other way around, too.

      As a skipper, don’t take idiots who don’t listen to the high seas and if you did and they become dangerous, throw them in the hold and wait for the court to sort it out.

      Akademik Shokalskiy didn’t get stuck because of the actions of an incompetent captain but because of Christopher Turney’s arrogant stupidity.

      His co-leader Greg Mortimer and Captain Igor Kiselev learned their lessons.

      Hempleman-Adams is not an idiot like Christopher Turney and he must have learned his lessons long ago, otherwise he wouldn’t be alive.

      Eye witness accounts suggest that expedition leader Professor Chris Turney of the University of New South Wales appeared not to respond to requests from his co-leader, Greg Mortimer, for the passengers on the ice to return to the ship. Some passengers who had remained on the ship also reported that Captain Igor Kiselev and his crew were frustrated and angry with the delay because they had seen slabs of sea ice moving into the open water channel from which the ship had entered the area.

      “A passenger standing near Professor Turney overheard the voyage leader, Greg Mortimer, telling him over the radio to bring passengers back to the ship so it can leave. Minutes later, Professor Turney drove six more passengers into the field,” according to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald.

  14. Neal S says:

    There is now a new ships log

    They are quite pleased with their progress.

    “The ice charts show we still have some ice closing the Laptev sea, but this was the best 12 hours so far on the trip. I’m looking forward to my lighter fuel at 12 with my Comrades.”

    • Lawrenec13 says:

      They’ve almost made it but 20 minutes ago met ice they couldn’t navigate due to probably thickness and tomorrow the wind moves to the NNW however even if that stops them they should break free on Monday with a strong southerly

  15. Lawrenec13 says:

    Lets face it as I assumed earlier today looking at my by all accounts terrible plots, that they were having a go in making it through. They got it right , lets be honest and using the coast and wind pattern they have navigated the NE passage. However there is still possibly a twist in the tail. I note that as of 10:52 they have been forced to alter their easterly course to a SSW direction. Its also worth noting the wind changes tomorrow to a NNW direction. So all is depending on the next twelve hours .

    Lets be honest we want them to fail despite a secret admiration for their efforts. We want this because we are sick to the teeth of the AGW mantra, we want there to be exceptional sea ice and they although bemoaning western co2 causing less ice, actually want that to be the case.

  16. Neal S says:

    The SOF now seems to be back-tracking somewhat. Perhaps they are trying to find a nice place to spend the night.

    Thu Aug 11th, 20166:23:00 pm
    Speed: 8.05 km/h Heading: SW
    Elevation: 2.35 m Batt: Normal
    Lat: 76.748481 Lon: 110.387041

  17. Neal S says:

    And a new crew blog post by Ben Edwards …

    ” We hope to reach our next landmark by tomorrow, it’s named after Nikolai but you’ll have to read the next blog to find out more, bye.”

  18. Neal S says:

    And now they are slowly re-tracing roughly where they had gone before ….

    Thu Aug 11th, 201610:23:45 pm
    Speed: 3.00 km/h Heading: E
    Elevation: 14.52 m Batt: Normal
    Lat: 76.756453 Lon: 110.486733

  19. Lawrenec13 says:

    Well so close yet so far. They last reported 7:25 and I assume must have anchored. However they are not exactly going the right way and a NW is setting in by 6pm today. Unless that remaining stretch of ice is really thick and well packed, I’ll guess they will break through today.

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