A Race Against Time

The Ship Of Fools is facing a -10C weather forecast in five days, which would be impassable. They better put their fossil fuel powered pedal to the metal and get out of there fast, so that they can go back to Bristol and lie about the ice.

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Meanwhile, professional fraudster Mark Serreze said last week they could sail to the North Pole

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93 Responses to A Race Against Time

  1. Cam says:

    Canadian Ice Services doesn’t see much more than bergy water between where they are and Baffin Bay through until the end of September. From where they are, they are only a couple of days from Bellot Strait and from there clear water through Prince Regent Inlet to bypass the minimal ice in Barrow Strait. http://iceweb1.cis.ec.gc.ca/Prod/page3.xhtml

    • tonyheller says:

      Has the freezing point of water changed recently?

      • Cam says:

        Your temperature plots are air temps. What are the sea surface temps? U.S. Navy says the route I said it is still a couple of degrees above freezing and, at least in there week ahead projection, aren’t going below the -2c required for sea ice to start freezing.

        • tonyheller says:

          Water cools extremely quickly at -10C.

          • ESTON HARDEN says:

            At least acknowledge what they have accomplished. They left Ireland in a yacht that has a sail and a motor as most yachts do. No ice breaker leading the way. They sail when there is wind and motor when not. They passed Scandinavia, Russia, Alaska and now are two-thirds the way of circumnavigating the Arctic and will soon be in Greenland. They will then conclude the trip back to Ireland having circumnavigated the Arctic. Cool stuff. Can’t you acknowledge that?

          • tonyheller says:

            I fully acknowledge that they spent weeks complaining about ice that wasn’t supposed to be there in the Laptev Sea, and will go back to Bristol, UK and talk about how the ice is disappearing. Their blog is covered with idiotic global warming propaganda about disappearing ice, which they were trapped in until they got lucky and a storm pushed the ice off-shore.

            I have zero interest in these types of conversations, and am done. I don’t spend my time blogging to listen to this crap. If they want some respect, they could earn it by dropping their propaganda. I respect people for their integrity.

          • Jim Hunt says:

            In which case perhaps you would be good enough to acknowledge the shortcomings of your own recent 2016 Arctic sea ice minimum prediction?


          • AndyG55 says:

            TH was not that far out, certainly within the margin of error.

            Wadhams, the professor, however, was NOWHERE within cooee.

          • Andy DC says:

            It appears that a weather pattern (an unusually stormy one) disbursed the ice. If random weather weather patterns determine the summer minimum, that minimum is not important in any given year and is just an excuse for alarmists to beat their chests and declare victory.

            I fail to see where an unusually cold, stormy, snowy weather pattern is indicative of global warming.

          • AndyG55 says:

            The REAL fact is that the average yearly Arctic sea ice trend since the AMO peaked is basically ZERO.

        • tonyheller says:

          There has been a massive expansion of thick multi-year ice towards Russia this year, which is the big Arctic story. It will of course be ignored by all alarmists – particularly the SOF who were trapped in it.

  2. AndyG55 says:

    Now imagine how long it would have taken them without …

    a) their huge tank of FOSSIL FUEL

    b) massive help from sea ice maps from satellites, enabling them to pick their route

    c) a lot of help from satellite based weather charts, again showing where they might be able to sneak through the LARGE AMOUNTS of sea ice still in the Arctic.

    • tonyheller says:


      • Sara Hall says:

        I found out yesterday that they took a short cut (to save time?) by crossing the Chukchi Sea too far to the North. They haven’t crossed the official start line for the NW Passage which means that their claim for a complete circumnavigation in one season could be null and void.
        I also found out that there may very well be more (well funded) Ships of Fools next year. This one already looks dead in the water. What a tub!

        • AndyG55 says:

          The North Atlantic temperatures are fallen quite quickly…
          … and there will be no El Nino this NH winter.

          It is very likely that there will be a considerable increase in Arctic sea ice next year.

          • AndyG55 says:

            How many Darwin awards await, is the unfortunate question.

            Perhaps it is what is needed to bring some common sense to this whole AGW scam/debacle.

          • Gail Combs says:

            “How many Darwin awards await, is the unfortunate question.”

            What is unfortunate about it?
            These people are our enemies who wish to take our freedom and in some cases our lives. What is unfortunate is they are doing so successfully.

            “This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the Industrial Revolution… democracy is a poor political system for fighting global warming. Communist China is the best model.” — Christiana Figueres, disciple of Al Gore, and Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention

            United Nations climate chief Christiana Figueres said that democracy is a poor political system for fighting global warming. Communist China, she says, is the best model.

            “It is a campaign not for abundance but for austerity. It is a campaign not for more freedom but for less. Strangest of all, it is a campaign not just against other people, but against ourselves.” -George Monbiot, UK Ecojournalist

            “A massive campaign must be launched to de-develop the United States.” -John Holdren (1973), Obama’s Science Czar

            Or as Ted Turner, founder of CNN and the UN Foundation bluntly put it during an interview with Audubon magazine.
            “A total population of 250-300 million people, a 95% decline from present levels, would be ideal.” – Source: The book You Don’t Say, by Fred Gielow, 1999, page 189.

        • Guirme says:

          Wonderful looking boat. What a shame to risk its destruction and imperil the lives of those on board.

        • Jim Hunt says:

          You’re on that bandwagon too Sara?

          Have you even read the article you’re attempting to link to? Let me assist you:


          Doug’s argument concerns the “the official start line for the NW Passage”, which has nothing whatsoever to do with a “claim for a complete circumnavigation in one season”. IMHO at least!

          • AndyG55 says:

            “You’re on that bandwagon”

            And YOU are on the climate FRAUD trough.

            At the very bottom of the pecking order, taking in the spittle and regurgitations of other’s swillings .

            Its all you have, it is YOU !!

          • AndyG55 says:

            Your opinion is, and always will be…

            MEANINGLESS and EMPTY. !!

            And your baseless ego is never humble, just ignorant arrogance.

          • Tim A says:

            I love how a Soros-funded shill links to another Soros-funded shill’s website as evidence….lol!!

            a person who poses as a customer in order to decoy others into participating, as at a gambling house, auction, confidence game, etc.

            a person who publicizes or praises something or someone for reasons of self-interest, personal profit.

            My favorite:
            to advertise or promote (a product) as or in the manner of a huckster; hustle.

          • wizzum says:

            I see they have now changed the home page to be closer to reality. Honestly, 2 or 3 extra days under power to get to the arctic circle would have been a milestone for them.

          • Jim Hunt says:

            Tim – I’m afraid I’m a trifle confused. Are you accusing Gail and Sara of being “Soros-funded shills”?

          • AndyG55 says:

            You are really making an ASS of yourself lately Jimbo.

            How are your climate trougher buddies at Exeter Uni going ?

    • And how did those satellites get where they are? By mining, refining, transport and collaberative industry, all dependent on fossil fuels. In the event the alarmists dream scenario of catastrophic global ice melt comes true, it is fossil fuels that will fuel the massive clean up and relocation of inhabited coastal development.

    • Dave N says:

      ..and the ships in the distant past that were able to do better than they, *without* any of that.

  3. Jim Hunt says:

    “A -10C weather forecast in five days.”

    Not according to Weather Canada:


    “Which would be impassable”

    Evidently not.

    “Mark Serreze said last week they could sail to the North Pole”

    Oh no he didn’t:


    “Actual facts aren’t sufficient to stop Tony Heller suggesting that Andrew Freedman suggested on Mashable that Mark Serreze of the NSIDC said that such a feat is feasible”

    • AndyG55 says:

      Actual fact?

      You mean the ones you REFUSE to admit to about pre-LIA Arctic sea ice levels?

      Come on slimo, have the GUTS and INTEGRITY to admit to the truth that current Arctic sea ice levels are anomalously HIGH compare to before the LIA , coldest period in 10,000 years.

      Or will you keep running and hiding in the dark crevasses of your baseless religion.

    • AndyG55 says:

      Here’s a FACT for you Jimbo.

      The average sea ice level since the AMO peaked in 2006 is ZERO

    • AndyG55 says:

      Jimbo, I know you are GUTLESS puke.. but here is a challenge where YOU can prove that the NW and NE passages are passable without modern technology.

      I DARE you to get your Exeter Uni bum-chums to fund a passage of both NE and NW passages, WITHOUT fossil fuel, and WITHOUT access to satellite sea ice, navigation and weather charts.

      Come on Jimbo.. its gunna be easy isn’t it?

      prove you “believe”….. I DARE you.

      • AndyG55 says:

        And of course, you being their fearless admiral, must go on the excursion.. please.

        A Darwin award awaits you, if you are not too much of a COWARD.

      • ATheoK says:

        No Fossil Fuel?
        No Fossil Fuel sourced goods:
        e.g. Nylon, dacron, goretex, polyethylene,
        no carbon arc furnace goods; aluminum, modern steel alloys,
        titanium, nitride or plasma ionized surface treatments.
        no graphite or fiberglass products
        no high density polymers or resins

        For ‘modern conveniences’ in the interest of safety; they can
        utilize GPS, computers, Arctic charts, phones, sextants, compasses, cold water safety suits.

        They better bring along several boots whose flavor they’ll enjoy.

        They will also discover that wooden ships with planked sides greater than 1 meter thick sail and maneuver like barges.

        Then their ‘Arctic transits’ might be more of a match for Century old Arctic records. Rather than motoring their mighty diesel powered soot emitting ships at speed around Arctic obstacles.

    • Tim A says:

      a person who poses as a customer in order to decoy others into participating, as at a gambling house, auction, confidence game, etc.

      a person who publicizes or praises something or someone for reasons of self-interest, personal profit.

      My favorite:
      to advertise or promote (a product) as or in the manner of a huckster; hustle.
      Perfect!! Global warming!!?

    • tonyheller says:

      Amazing. Weather forecasts change. Who ever heard of such a thing?

  4. CheshireRed says:

    This whole ‘event’ is just alarmist PR guff desperately trying to recover ground after the original SoF got stuck miles off the coast of Antarctica in sea ice that wasn’t supposed to be there. Christ that was humiliating. Sailing a small fossil-fuel powered boat through the Arctic at the height of an el Nino summer proves what, exactly? These people must spend hours dreaming up stunts which they can spin in their favour and this is one such effort, enabling the BBC-Guardian green blob to go into climate-hysteria overdrive. Nice free trip for the crew, mind.

    • Griff says:

      It shows that the sea routes are now open to small non-specialist vessels more than ever before…

      something that this research predicts will only increase:

      • AndyG55 says:

        ” small non-specialist vessels more”

        TOTAL BULLSHIT as usual.

        Northabout is a very specialise vessel with HUGE petrol tanks and a specially braced and hardened shell.

        And linking to BBC propaganda really does enhance your reputation for ignorance idiocy.

        • Gail Combs says:

          You forgot that the Northabout is designed to ride up on the ice instead of getting smushed.

          Do you think the Warmists are fools enough to leave their safe spaces for REAL? No, they only play the game when it is rigged so they have a really good chance of winning.

          Let’s see Jimmy Boy and his buddies run the passages in a wooden sailboat of 18th century design with no motor, no maps, no modern amenities of any kind and just a compass and celestial navigation.

          The celestial navigation is the real I gotcha BTW, however that is all that was available at the time.

          • rapscallion says:

            What is more, celestial navigation (whilst not difficult) is only possible if you can actually see the celestial bodies you want to “shoot”

          • Gail Combs says:

            Rapscallion, that is why I said it is the real I Gotcha. It was a major headache I am sure for those intrepid explorers of the arctic regions in the 1800s.

            Then add in the fog….

          • Jim Hunt says:

            Gail – Which “wooden sailboat[s] of 18th century design with no motor” have ever “run [one of] the passages” in a single summer season, let alone both passages?

          • AndyG55 says:

            You saw my challenge to you Jimbo.

            or are you too GUTLESS.

            Come on, you piece of human excrement, I dare you to take the trip in a sail only boat with no access to sea ice or weather charts.

          • Neal S says:

            Jim asks about ” Which “wooden sailboat[s] of 18th century design with no motor” have ever “run [one of] the passages” in a single summer season”?

            How about

            “David Melgueiro, a Portuguese navigator, might have been the first to navigate the Northeast Passage (known now as Northern Sea Route), between 1660 and 1662, more than 200 years before Adolf Erik Nordenskjöld, who did it ​​in 1878.”

          • AndyG55 says:

            And of course Larson made it through the NW passage in 1944 in 82 days.

            Yes, in a powered vessel, but WITHOUT satellite sea ice, navigation and weather charts.

            His route would have been totally impassable this year.

          • Neal S says:

            And then the steamship Phoenix in 1887 with no other modern technology did north east passage while guided by a BLIND man.


      • Tim A says:

        Non-specialist? Liar!

      • Lawrenec13 says:

        Yes very true, all they have to do now is retract the keel get past H&S and get someone at the top of their respective masts and look for gaps in the ice checking the water depth is more than several feet as they go. Oh and it has a time window of about a week.
        So Griff, you are spot on this is a substantial game changer.

      • Lawrence13 says:

        The BBC are genetically programmed to think, obsess and whine about any theoretical negative that can be blamed on Western Capitalism 100% of their miserable time on this planet.

        They are oblivious to the way human kind through intelligence and capitalism dragging the whole human race into the light.

        The miracle of increased life expectancy for all and the escaping the clutches of the barbaric tyranny of nature is totally lost on them as they inhabit their Edwardian/Victorian houses , all rewired and supplied with gas and electricity plus the internet pipe in. Most of the BBC lefty luvvies will be entertaining this Friday evening as they cook very expensive meals on top range equipment and brag how they love to visit other cultures and how much concerned about the planet. They make me sick

        • Colorado Wellington says:

          You forgot to mention how much they are determined to protect these primitive cultures and keep them frozen in place and time. They can watch these people on TV or fly in for a visit to see what wonder it is to live short and wretched lives in harmony with nature, in unspeakable poverty, without the benefits of technology and cheap energy. There is nothing more heart-warming to a BBC sophisticate than seeing a young African mother and her baby—with their organic lifestyle and tiny carbon footprint—dying of malaria, in complete harmony with Gaia.

          • Lawrence13 says:

            They have no idea or care as to how life was in is little as 60-100 years ago. The same as people that visit the UK, they have no idea how much the social conditions have improved post WWII actually more from the sixties. Without wanting to sound like a Monty Pythons sketch until my family moved in 1960 when I was eight we lived in two rooms and outside toilet and a tin bath that was brought in on Sunday nights. No refrigerator until 1959. Heating was paraffin (I still have the scars on me backside from bath night) and a coal fire. Nearly 90% of the countries working classes lived like this with families cramped in rented rooms. I guess those of a certain age in the western world alone have seen amazing changes in their lifetimes. I truly believe there is an astonishing willful ignorance by these spoilt usually middle class lefties, to look backward into the lifestyle of humans before the industrial revolution. If they just acknowledged the role of capitalism in dragging humanity into the light and how their high lofty, arrogant know everything but almost Antoinette type stupidity life style is so fragile , so precious and so very short a time in human history; then I could at least have some time for them. But they don’t they feel all that western white humans in particular have achieved, is nothing, worthless and empty. They are fools and idiots

          • Gail Combs says:

            No, No Colorado Wellington,

            You have that wrong. They are much to lazy to “..fly in for a visit to see what wonder it is to live short and wretched lives in harmony with nature, in unspeakable poverty, without the benefits of technology and cheap energy…”

            So instead they are bring the 700AD murderous barbarians into their own countries so they can observe the in comfort from behind their walls guarded by men with guns.

            The Progressive Utopia

        • Gail Combs says:


          You are certainly correct. They are spoiled rotten two year olds in adult bodies who think it is fun to break their ‘Toys’ Unfortunately the ‘Toy’ they want to break is western civilization. Once it is broken they have no real viable plans to replace the free civilization that has evolved over thousands of years.

          I would love to drop the whole lot of them in some place like Zimbabwe where they can enjoy Mugabe’s anti-white Marxist government. The type of government they so dearly love.

      • wizzum says:

        Griff, that is hardly new, Inuit people have been traversing the coasts for milenia

  5. Ralph says:

    Any news of the giant cruise ship leaving Alaska to New York City through the northwest passage?

    The Crystal Serenity left Seward, Alaska, in mid-August and plans to dock in New York on Sept. 16.

    The ship sailed up the Bering Strait, and made a port call in Nome where guests got a chance to see a herd of wild musk oxen that had taken up residence just outside town. The ship then continued north until reaching the Arctic Ocean, and then east toward Greenland.

    The melting Arctic is making this type of trip possible. The irony isn’t lost on Michael Byers, a professor in the political science department at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. He calls it “extinction tourism.”

    • Griff says:

      The NSIDC recent update says it completed its voyage in 32 days, taking less than 3 weeks to get through the NW passage

      “The ship sailed through the Northwest Passage in less than three weeks—52 times faster than Amundsen’s nearly three-year voyage”

      An interesting chart showing declining sea ice in the NW passage accompany the post…

      • AndyG55 says:

        OMG, your ignorance know NO BOUNDS, does it.

        Amundsen was actually mapping, and had zero guidance from satellites to find his way through.

        It is ONLY his work and the advent of modern satellite sea ice technology and navigation that enables ANY ship except icebreakers to get through these passages.

        I DEFY any modern alarmist wannabe hero to try this little exploratory trip WITHOUT fossil fuel, and WITHOUT modern navigation, communication and satellite sea ice data available on a daily basis.

        DO you DARE to take on that challenge , Griff or Jimbo, or are your yapping mouths nothing but a meaningless putrid cesspit.

        Come on.. I DARE you or ANYONE to take that challenge.

        Let’s see if these scam-artists are for real.

        The challenge is there. COWARDS.

      • CH4 says:

        How long did it take Lewis and Clark to reach the Pacific? I can drive there in a few days. That’s the same thing right?

        • Brad says:

          Ha Ha! Brilliant. Nice comparison and spot on.

        • Tim A says:

          CH….let us know when you do and we’ll broadcast your earth-shattering achievement!!

          • Gail Combs says:

            When I was in high school, I really really wanted to make that trip (coast to coast) on horseback. Oh well.

            Closest I have come is thirty to fifty mile picnic drives all over New England with a pair and wagonette thanks to the Granite State Carriage Assoc.

    • Gail Combs says:

      I call it a really poor business model unless they plan to unload the cruise line on some clueless fools.

      As AndyG55 has pointed out numerous times,
      1. This is an El Nino year meaning less summer ice in the Arctic.
      2. Solar Cycle 24 is now headed down.
      3. The AMO has turned.
      4. What he has not mentioned is the ‘blob’ in the pacific is going cold as the PDO turns.

    • Gail Combs says:

      The PDO with 7 year running average.

    • wizzum says:

      It might be big but it only carries a 25 ft draft. 150ft fishing boats have 20 feet of draft and the darn things they build in Newfoundland have twice that! All of the deep water routes (suitable for trade) were 100% blocked this year in the NWP and icebreakers were working hard on the Russian side to get bigger ships through.
      A little skepticism, perspective and research helps whenever you see a headline like that one.
      JUST an FYI for you too, there are no deep water harbors in the Beaufort sea, places like Tuktoyaktuk have a clearance of 12″. If the Crystal serenity had any engine trouble it would need to be towed either through to Iceland or back out through the Bering straight to get alongside.

  6. Tim A says:

    Who’s paying for this astronomically expensive trip? A multi-million dollar aluminum sailboat full of a bunch of posers out at sea for months. This is working? This is crap!

  7. Neal S says:

    At their current position and rate of speed, the SOF may be able to reach the west side of the Bellot strait in about 28 hours or so. Of course, what happens once they reach the other side is what will be critical. There has been some ice moving in the northeastern end of Somerset Island and the route below Baffin island has ice in it as well.

    When they get to east end of Bellot strait, based on ice conditions above and below, they will then decide which of those ways is their best chance. And as always, by the time they get there, things may change.

    Fri Sep 9th, 201610:01:15 am
    Speed: 12.17 km/h Heading: NNE
    Elevation: 16.55 m Batt: Normal
    Lat: 69.815133 Lon: -99.387110

    • Neal S says:

      The ice near north east end of Somerset Island (north of Bellot strait) has been moving south and east. It may wind up blocking their path there, or it may wind up being dispersed. The ice at the south passage below Baffin island seems stubborn and has not moved very much in the last week or so. I have circled both these areas in yellow. And I have crudely drawn the expected path of the SOF through the Bellot strait.

      Chart is from Canadian Ice service as of this morning.

    • David Blake says:

      They MUST make the Bellot Straight in time. If they don’t it’s all over. All other routes will be blocked. There’s the first mention of “overwintering” on the blog, it really is crunch time.

      Here’s the last three days of ice showing that the Bellot Straight is their only chance …

      • Gail Combs says:

        If they had used sail exclusively instead of motoring, they would never have made it. To much time of slow travel from variable wind strength and direction.

        Tacking against the wind while dodging icebergs would be a biotch. I would hate to depend on sail in conditions shown below.

      • Neal S says:

        The mention of overwintering was on this blog post

        David writes
        “Cambridge Bay is the last place we could really over winter the boat so I hope we don’t have to retrace our steps.”

        I certainly wouldn’t be surprised by either a success or a failure at this point. While I do wish them well and no harm, I would shed no tears at all if they failed and had to overwinter. If this would get some of the alarmists to shut up, I think it would be worth the minor discomfort that the SOF crew would have to put up with.

        But as I have written before, even if the SOF does manage to complete their circumnavigation without ice breaker assistance, they still will not have actually proved what they have hoped to prove.

        • Gail Combs says:


          You are nicer than I. I am hoping the Poley bears have a nice meal.

          My patience with those who are dedicated to destroying western civilization or those who enable this bizarre wish is completely exhausted.

  8. David Blake says:

    Here’s an animation of their current position transferred to Googlemaps with the Bellot Straight highlighted, and the DMI ice model for yesterday. At their current 11km/h they should make it to the Bellot as per their schedule for the 11th.


    The straight must be ice free by the time they get there! It seems to be closing in fast as per my other Gif up-thread. If not the other route past Resolute appears blocked already.

    Popcorn time.

    • Gonzo says:

      Great job David. As I posted on the other thread the wind is moving the ice off Prince Leopold island potentially blocking their path. Current live marine weather reports from Belloit Straight are all in -3C range! It’s getting cold…….fast.

    • AndyG55 says:

      The beauty is that if they do fail to get through, they will probably not have met the condition of a pass through the North East passage, either. :-)

      Their shortcut in missing out on cutting the Arctic circle in the Bering Strait could really come back to make it a time of great mirth. :-)

      • Gail Combs says:


        They will just use the seagull management strategy.

        The seagull manager flies in, makes a lot of noise, craps on everything then flies off again leaving a big mess behind.

        big mess = lots of alarmist headlines in leftist papers.

  9. Gonzo says:

    It looks like they’ll make it at this point. Marinetraffic shows a pleasure craft just west of Prince Leopold island and north of Somerset Island heading west. It looks like they got around sea ice forming at the junction of Lancaster Sound/Prince Regent inlet. The weather calls for sub freezing temps for the area with snow this weekend. So things could change. Once they get through Bellot it’s about 150ish miles to the reckoning.

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  12. David Jay says:

    Well, they may have made it. They are through the Bellot Strait.

  13. Gonzo says:

    Well they’ve made it out to Baffin Bay and none to soon. According the their tracker they hugged the southside of the shore/ice (with their rudder up I wonder how close the got to land?). They mention in blog how “Mrs Irish” had the knack for finding ways through thickening ice. Good on them as the ice is spreading/thickening fast just behind them. A few more days and they would’ve been wintering over. It was critical to skip the Cambridge Bay layover and I believe one other stop they had planned. They had up to the minute ice info and good instincts/seamanship to get through.

    In the end I don’t believe they achieved their goal of illustrating how the ice is in danger of disappearing. Quite the contrary. The satellites don’t tell the whole story. They were on the ground so to speak and things seemed to quite different.

    cheers to the crew and safe sailing on to Bristol though it looks like they’ve got some serious weather to deal with rather soon including deep ocean storm waves/wind etc….it won’t be stiff chop like in the shallow Arctic.

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