Ship Of Fools Seems To Have Discovered That There Is Ice In The Arctic

Maybe if they track closer to the pole, there will be less ice!


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114 Responses to Ship Of Fools Seems To Have Discovered That There Is Ice In The Arctic

  1. etudiant says:

    Think they are trying to sneak through the strait close to shore, based on the hope that south winds will push the ice offshore a little.
    Seems a gutsy move, threading their way between shore and ice, especially as weather can be tricky up there. Still, their captain is experienced in these waters and he knows the odds.
    My guess is that if they get stuck they wait for the Yamal or similar icebreaker to free them and restructure the trip specs to be mostly unassisted.

    • Rud Istvan says:

      If you look at the current update as of 1800 EDT, they got around the cape, hit ice, and are directly backtracking since about 6 hours. They failed to get thru. Now the question is, will they get trapped?

  2. David Blake says:

    The Yamal ( is less than 50 miles from them and waiting for a convoy to assemble for their return leg through the ice.

    There are other icebreakers working the NSR also, including the Vaygach

    They will make it though, not because of lack of ice, but because of huge icebreakers. It will still be a gutsy move though.

  3. Caleb says:

    They are zig-zagging, likely tacking. They’ve turned back northeast, then back northwest, and now are heading northeast again. I suppose they also could be avoiding ice. They are not avoiding the huge icebreaker Yamal, which is around thirty miles dead ahead of them.

    It is amazing what a man can do, when he runs out of vodka. I wonder if the Yamal has any?

    There are excellent satellite-viewing conditions on the far side of the Pole at Point Barrow. The sea-ice got off to a fast start over there, with big polynyas and lots of open water in April, but since then the melt seems surprisingly slow.

    • Caleb says:

      The map also shows they have avoided a small off-shore island.

    • Sara Hall says:

      The wind direction aft of the beam looks OK for sailing but I should think they’re motoring, gilling about and putting themselves in the best spot for when the conditions miraculously (like the parting of the Red Sea!) become ” just perfect” for getting through.

  4. AndyG55 says:

    Two pic that make it very obvious what the plan is.

    First where the Yamal is

  5. AndyG55 says:

    Now they tracking.

    Look at the coast line.

    Yamal should be pretty much in their sight now.

  6. AndyG55 says:

    By my reckoning that puts them about where the orange dot is.

    note AIS has them positioned much further back along their track.

    • Martin says:

      On AIS if you go to the toolbar on the left of the screen. click on filters and then click to switch off cargo vessels then the Northbout will appear on the screen with a violet marker described as a “pleasure craft”

      • AndyG55 says:

        Did that,

        It showed Naughtyboat still in “zaliv Tollya”

        That is south of where their own tracker says they are.

  7. AndyG55 says:

    Any bets they won’t even mention this ?

  8. Andy says:

    I don’t think it would be wise to follow and icebreaker through.

    What speed does an icebreaker break ice at and what’s their top speed under diesel power?

    The NW passage will be passable this year so they have made a completely wrong choice using recent history unfortunately. They may get lucky though, still some time


    • David Blake says:

      “What speed does an icebreaker break ice at and what’s their top speed under diesel power? ”

      The Yamal was doing about 15 kts on her last leg through the Yaptev. It’s true it’ll be pretty dicey following this ( in a small boat. But David H-A will attempt it I’m sure.

      It’ll help that very soon there will be two Nuclear ice-breakers to churn up a path. The Vaygach is en-route.

    • AndyG55 says:

      Lucky? I don’t think so.

      You can bet your ass/donkey/burro that they now exactly where the Yamal and the other big ships are, and the other icebreaker.

      If not, that PROVES their total incompetence.

      • Lawrenec13 says:

        It annoys me when the supporters of this escapade are keeping their fingers crossed for less ice when the whole purpose of this mission and the eco lefts is bemoaning the lack of ice and how its effecting polar bears and the future of mankind.

        Come on Eco Lefts what do you actually want , more sea ice or less sea ice. It seems with the sentiments on the Polar Ocean Challenge website and media like the BBC you actually want less ice. I mean when Andy says
        “they may get lucky” he obviously wants less ice. Now that’s established that the eco left want less ice ; why are they complaining day and night about this issue as its what they wanted.

        • Jason Calley says:

          Hey Lawrenec13! “Come on Eco Lefts what do you actually want , more sea ice or less sea ice. ”

          My personal belief is that the alarmists want less ice, but will never admit it. As far as my experience can tell, most alarmists are not happy people. Totally aside from whether or not the climate is going to Hades, most of them seem to have major personal issues to deal with. Believing that the planet is burning up lets them blame their unhappiness on something outside of their control, and not on their own choices and actions (or lack of action). “Sure, I am unhappy! But it is not my fault! There is nothing I can do about it. The Bad People are destroying the Earth…”

          CAGW is the warm, fuzzy blanket that lets them justify their feelings.

    • Caleb says:

      You don’t want to be anywhere close to the rear of a powerful shop. I was sailing with a captain who unwisely cut in behind a big barge that passed us on the intercoastal waterway, and our 30-foot sailboat was spun around like a potato chip, keel and all.

      I can still remember the expression on the face of the captain of the barge, up on the bridge of his boat. His eyes got very round and he cut the engine of the barge to barely-idling.

      They will have to stay well back of the larger ships, and the ice will have time to close in on them, especially if the ships go faster than 7 knots and they fall behind.

      Actually they might do better if they hugged the coast, trusting that a slot of open water will appear in the south winds.

      Give the guys credit for making a run for it.

      • Lawrenec13 says:

        But again caleb what is their mission to prove the arctic is now open for business due to AGW or the make a run for it and get lucky. What does that prove and how does it square with their mission. All that to one side and the spin and hypocrisy surrounding this topic I do applaud their having a go and pitting themselves against the ice however not under the heading that AGW has caused the ice to all but disappear.

      • Sara Hall says:

        There’s a possibility that they might get towed through the (non existent?) ice. That could work, as long as the towing vessel keeps her speed down, they get the towrope length right and, most importantly, the yacht’s helmsman steers a really steady course!

        • AndyG55 says:

          There are several large ships, and two icebreakers.

          That is going to cut a pretty big channel in the sea ice. !

          • Sara Hall says:

            I wasn’t sure just how quickly the ice might close in again behind them; largish chunks of broken ice being not much of a problem for big ships but maybe more troublesome to crash through for a fairly small aluminium hulled yacht!?

  9. David Blake says:

    They are right on top of each other.

    • AndyG55 says:

      Yep, that is my conclusion.

      Look to Yamal doing a very slow pass through the sea ice…

      … much slower than previous, because they have a paid-up scammer to protect.

      • AndyG55 says:

        How to get through unpassable sea ice…

        Follow TWO icebreakers and some very big transport ships.

        Someone must be throwing one HEAP of a load of funds at this…

        Soros.. where are you?

    • Lawrenec13 says:

      Does anyone think that looking at their tacking, that they’ve actually started to engage the ice.

  10. AndyG55 says:

    Posted on Polar Ocean blog.

    Let’s see how long it lasts ;-)

    • Sara Hall says:

      There’s no escape from those eyes in the sky. I wonder if anyone will send up a drone to take videos of their progress?

      • Lawrenec13 says:

        Yes I can see it now Marc Morano’s new AGW scam movie

        “Drone Alone Two” The story of contrived deception, they can start with the Yamal as an ice -breaker.

    • Lawrenec13 says:

      The only trouble is, Mr Hunt would have forewarned them of the names on this/Tony’s blog, so they will know you straight away as in terms of them being unguarded about their plans, but its great though you’ve let them know a whole team of folk are keenly observing their every move in an attempt to keep them honest

    • Colorado Wellington says:

      AndyG, ghostlike, appears and disappears at will, without a trace …

      How is he doing it?

      • Colorado Wellington says:

        Truly ghostlike, not even the trace of no trace posted above …

        • AndyG55 says:

          That is why I posted the screen capture here.

          I knew it would disappear.

          its all part of the CON.

          It would not be a surprise to find out they knew the Yamal schedule a couple of weeks ago, and were just laying up waiting for their turn for the escort.

  11. AndyG55 says:

    The Northabout has currently past the Yamal, which appears to be waiting for other ships.

    My guess is that the NB will find its way to just around the cape, and wait there for the convoy.

    on AIS, I think I saw a cargo ship or two doing the same thing .

  12. AndyG55 says:

    Totally OT and rather funny.

    Australia is meant to have a census, by computer, this evening.

    The computers at the ABS crashed about an hour and a half ago.

    Same people running this farce have been pushing for computer run elections. ;-)

  13. Neal S says:

    Well, the tanker that was stuck for the longest time, has finally actually started to move south and now is on a collision course with the SOF folk. (just kidding about the collision)

    Also, I suspect some software bug in the AIS web page, because I experimented and determined that I could in the filter select practically anything to filter out, to help make the ‘pleasure craft’ become visible in those cases where it otherwise would not be. There are also some other bugs …

  14. Neal S says:

    I just refreshed and looks like the tanker almost did collide with our SOF folk. Its getting crowded around there.

  15. Neal S says:

    Almost like real-time …

  16. Neal S says:

    They have so far been going through relatively ice free water. But there is something different up ahead ….

  17. Lawrenec13 says:

    So the NA at 19:00 hrs GMT 9-8-2016 is here in the thick of it

  18. Colorado Wellington says:

    You may recall this just before their arrival at Slurp and Sausage Bay:

    Ship’s Log:

    Birthday bets, Sheltered islands, Multilingual swearing and Vodka

    SAT 30TH July. 12 midday N76 19, E090 27 Pressure 999 water temp 5.4 outside temp 3 cloud 8/8 Drizzle. batt 13.2

    Making steady progress East. We had the latest ice charts for the Vilkitskogo straight. Still blocked and the Laptev still blocked, but big changes from the last set of charts, and encouraging.

    Nikolai and Dennis are having bets. Nikolai thinks it will be free on his birthday, the 9th Aug, and Dennis on his, 6th Aug . Either way, would mean a few days rest. We are heading for a small sheltered Island. Different to the first choice, as the ice from the North has come down and blocked it, so trying for another Island closer to shore and closer to the straight. So if anything dramatic changed quickly, we would be close to react. Ie, A strong southerly taking the ice from the shore.

    Saw our first ICE today on my watch, just an hour ago. What is slightly worrying, it didn’t show up on the Radar. It’s probably good for the big icebergs, but not low ice in the water. I think we will see a lot more of that before the trip is out. You can’t beat that old eyeball.

    Today’s Nikolai’s birthday. Will Dennis concede or will he argue nobody won? Hempie may hear a fast-paced monolingual exchange today:

    Хуй моржовой!
    Черт возьми!
    Сукин сын!
    Глобальное жульничество!

  19. AndyG55 says:

    Hands up anyone who can find one single mention of icebreakers, transport ships or cargo ship conveys on their blog.

    …. they really are trying to SCAM the whole trip !!!

  20. AndyG55 says:

    SPRUNG !!!

    • AndyG55 says:

      for those not aware what the boats are..

      • Lawrenec13 says:

        According to their website at approx.@21:00hrs they have turn west. Andy I couldn’t get that bloody ship tracker to show the ‘pleasure’ craft. I’ve signed up for the free version and using it in google-maybe they are in on some conspiracy nah that would be ridiculous.

    • Neal S says:

      But it appears that the SOF have changed course again …

      Don’t exactly know what it means though.

    • dave1billion says:

      I don’t think that following in the wake of an icebreaker is a good idea anyway.

      I assume this is one of the ones with the screws that chew up the ice behind it, but even then a ship as small as theirs (even reinforced) could have a problem pushing their way through the remnants after the ice breaker.

      I believe the ice breakers are designed to open up paths for larger ships that can just muscle aside the broken up ice. It’s hard to believe they’d be able to make much headway in the wake of an icebreaker.

      I do know one thing. I wouldn’t want to be the one with a boat hook up front nudging ice out of the way.

      • AndyG55 says:

        They have definitely given up that idea.

        Best hope for them is that something opens up along the shore.

        Chocked at the moment though.

        They need the area circled to open up.

    • Neal S says:

      Curiouser and curiouser … At first I thought they might be going back to hug the coast and proceed that way … but they continued west instead of going south ???

      Still no ships log or crew blog update.

      • AndyG55 says:

        Heading for shelter in the small bay ?

        Wait and hope?

        • Martin says:

          I’m guessing that they tried to follow the Yamal but something has gone wrong. The AIS has significant lag and shows their Eastern-most position ( 4 hours ago) which compares well with the Polar Ocean Challenge tracker

    • Neal S says:

      Maybe they are going back for more Vodka and Wine???? Nah.

      • David Blake says:

        I hope for their safety they hold up in the bay. Well done them for having a go.

        The two ice breakers are passing right by.

      • Rud Istvan says:

        They have been turned back by the ice. Perhaps seeking shelter, perhaps just getting back out. Depends on next few hours and winds.

  21. zip adee says:

    I think the pink marker is the Northabout. Per their tracker, they are currently doing a Northaboutface.

  22. Their own tracking has been turned off for a while. I guess they are recharging batteries.

  23. AndyG55 says:

    I clipped some of the page, this graph particularly is interesting. I’ve left the explanation on the clip.

  24. Lawrenec13 says:

    I just saw this tweet about being hemmed in by the ice and it made me think about all the C02 being released by using the NA engine to search for a gap in the ice in a bid to show that anthropogenic C02 is reducing the ice, is all rather odd.

    • David Blake says:

      The ironic thing is that they’ve “polluted” more CO2 with their small diesel engine than the huge icebreakers have. Nuclear works.

    • Sara Hall says:

      It was maybe a little overoptimistic of them to think that they would be able to do much actual sailing in an area with such flukey weather and maybe they should have replaced some of the vodka stores with an extra can or two of diesel! While I have every respect for the genuine and professional sailors on board, I believe that (judging by the continuing references to seasickness) that more than one or two of the crew are little more than passengers at times and I hope that they don’t become liabilities if they ever get into serious difficulties.

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  26. Colorado Wellington says:

    Here’s hoping Admiral Hunt recovered sufficiently and will emerge from his safe space to provide strategic guidance to Commodore Hempie.

  27. Colorado Wellington says:

    They are taking another stab at it after they retreated west from 77.713636, 105.220441, aiming farther south this time.

    (the time in the chart is MDT – Mountain Daylight Time)

    • Colorado Wellington says:

      This is taken around 1:15 MDT.

    • Colorado Wellington says:

      This was their 1:15 MDT position.

    • Colorado Wellington says:

      Wed Aug 10th, 2016 1:15:00 am
      Speed: 11.13 km/h Heading: ESE
      Elevation: 14.52 m Batt: Normal
      Lat: 77.657621 Lon: 105.314061

    • Colorado Wellington says:

      Captain Nikolai’s looking for a way through the ice. *)

      Wed Aug 10th, 2016 1:45:00 am MDT
      Speed: 9.07 km/h Heading: N
      Elevation: 8.43 m Batt: Normal
      Lat: 77.674766 Lon: 105.412551
      *) Admiral Hunt calculated it would be gone.

    • Colorado Wellington says:

      Hempie knows that Rohtang La is the best ice seeing place in Himachal Pradesh.

      What is the best ice seeing place in the Laptev Sea?

    • Colorado Wellington says:

      Hempie knows whom to ask and find it for him.

    • Colorado Wellington says:

      Everyone can go and touch it.

    • Colorado Wellington says:

      As before, Hempie reports what he sees. He lets others to spin it.

      near MYS (Cape) Chelyuskin,Vilkitsky Strait, Laptev Sea Anchored for night by shore against some fast ice) 21:38 UTC 9 Aug

      A mixed bag of emotions today. sailing in strong winds through the night up the coast. Its amazing that just 10 days ago this very same area was solid ice. It then went from open ocean to sporadic ice of 3/10ths With careful helming, you could get through it or around it. Whilst Nikolai’s birthday preparations were being made, we slowly crept north, various old Russian markers on the land could be seen through the dull sky, luckily we had no fog, even though the water temp was now near 1 degree, with the outside temp not much higher. The big difference was there was no wind, so it actually felt balmy. Gradually, the cape came into view, with a myriad of huts and antennas, this is still a Polar station, but also marks the most Northern spot of land of mainland Europe and Asia. At this point, every man and his dog turned up, firstly a convoy going East, another going West. A freighter resupplying the Polar station, and our old hydrographic friends from our blue lagoon days.

      So Nikolai’s birthday and passing from the Kara Sea into the Laptev Sea was celebrated with gusto.

      I have a big superstition, never drink champagne on an expedition. To be fair, it was Russian Prosecco, I didn’t mind celebrating a birthday, but I was not going to test the Gods and toast a passing of a milestone.

      So we left the cape. We were desperate for new Ice charts. We got them, they showed us we could sail up past Chelyuskin in open sea !! but then the Laptev sea was still blocked for us. BUT we were on a roll, we tried to get as far as we could, but the ice was so thick , you could have skied faster. So, we had to retrace our route. We are now anchored by the shore against some fast ice.

      So tomorrow the weather forecast is winds from the South, that should take the ice away from the land. We can then move down the coast, and hopefully make our way East.

      I keep telling Ben, who thinks its a great hoot to get stuck, or see no danger in anything, beware what you wish for! Meanwhile, I will sleep easier now we have past that bogeyman of furthest north, but sleep with one eye open with Polar Bears smelling our smelly socks, as we are parked on his territory.

    • Colorado Wellington says:

      Wed Aug 10th, 2016 2:45:00 am MDT
      Speed: 10.10 km/h Heading: ESE
      Elevation: 10.46 m Batt: Normal
      Lat: 77.701363 Lon: 105.731800

      Would Radio 4 Programme spin a treacherous passage opened in wind-driven ice in 1°C water on August 10th as a proof of global warming catastrophe?

      I’d bet a bottle of Mamont vodka they would.

  28. John Niclasen says:

    Bollocks! They told us, vodka is an antifreeze.

  29. Colorado Wellington says:

    I can’t ethically bet a bottle of vodka on the spin for BBC anymore. I looked it up.

    BBC Radio 4
    Arctic diary: ‘You could mistake it for the Med’

    A British expedition, the Polar Ocean Challenge, is en route to the Arctic to monitor the impact of a warmer climate on sea ice.

    Expedition leader David Hempleman-Adams and his crew are recording an audio diary for the Today programme and here is their first report.

    (Photo: Bed Edwards, on board the Northabout yacht Credit: The Polar Ocean Challenge)

    Release date:
    27 July 2016

    • Colorado Wellington says:

      Sailing the Mediterranean …

      • Gail Combs says:

        I really doubt the Mediterranean has all that ice in the background — unless you were talking about when the Mediterranean got clobbered with snow, even in North Africa.

    • Colorado Wellington says:

      The BBC audio clip is quite interesting. A shrewd way for Hempleman-Adams to stay clear of unsupportable bullshit.

      He talks a little about the Russian Arctic, WWII, says it is normal to be ice-free around Murmansk this time of year. Then he lets Ben, the 14-year-old kid explain how unexpectedly warm it is, like the Mediterranean, and that they can only do it because the ice has retreated. Then H-A mentions he’s seeing fewer birds than in the Southern Ocean, and has a little human interest segment about difficult cooking in a small galley.

      It sounds nearly like he knows CAGW is bull so he will ride it while he can but in a way nobody can hang specific statements around his neck. He doesn’t say anything dumb that he would regret after the scam blows up. He’s doing it much smarter than the idiot Chris Turkey if that is any measure.

  30. Lawrenec13 says:

    All gone quiet here, no update thread from Tony either. Well the NA is making progress through the ice without seemingly too much deviation. Are they home and dry yet, well for the NE leg that is.

    • Lawrenec13 says:

      Blimey , I’m not very good at this, am I?

    • Neal S says:

      The SOF are far from making it through what will prove to be the hardest part of the NE passage they are attempting.

      • Lawrenec13 says:

        They’ve had to do a very sharp left SSW turn about 2:30pm GMT

        • Colorado Wellington says:

          Hempie’s mountaineering expertise is finally paying off. They are riding up and down over ice! :)

          Wed Aug 10th, 2016 8:17:00 am MDT
          Speed: 9.66 km/h Heading: SSW
          Elevation: -2.00 m Batt: Normal
          Lat: 77.492880 Lon: 107.717621

          Wed Aug 10th, 2016 8:47:00 am MDT
          Speed: 8.05 km/h Heading: SSW
          Elevation: 4.00 m Batt: Normal
          Lat: 77.459128 Lon: 107.798731

    • Colorado Wellington says:

      Lawrenec13, it is a scientific fact that one glass of good Scotch is a legitimate substitution for one hour of sleep and I was doing fine into early morning hours but my wife doesn’t recognize it and asked me to go to bed.

      I didn’t want to argue about science with her.

  31. Lawrenec13 says:

    Same with my ex-wife. I’d give up go to bed and once asleep she was straight downstairs finishing the bottle of. She drove me to drink and I never thanked her for it.

  32. Lawrenec13 says:


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