August 2023

Wednesday 30th August 2023 

At this stage of the transit, we are at the centre of the Franklin Expedition of 1845 controversy. Overnight we travelled to 69N 95W. Where we are, in 1845, was the location of the last chance for the British Admiralty to ‘conquer the Far North’. There were a reducing number of supporters for big ventures …

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Tuesday 29th August 2023

At 08:00, en route to Gjøa Haven we had reached 68N 97W. Outside through the sprayed stained window of the cabin it looked wet and misty but with improvements on the horizon in the east. 45 years after the searches for Franklin were abandoned the NWP was first navigated by Roald Amundsen between 1903 – …

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Monday 28th August 2023 

“Breaking News” Guess who made the big TV screen in the Explorer Lounge. Overnight we made good progress towards Cambridge Bay and arrived a little before 07:00. The settlement and the region featured on an old David Bellamy programme about the NWP and the Inuit people. This was used a lot in H’s teaching of …

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Sunday 27th August 2023 

When Larsen returned to Vancouver he went by way of the then untried northern route. He visualised a time when large powerful icebreakers would manage summer transits of the passage with little difficulty. Actually, this has not been the case. On the southern route, that most ships take, there is still a risk of closure, …

Sunday 27th August 2023  Read More »

Saturday 26th August 2023

Today at 09:00 we were at 70N 120W heading towards Victoria Island and Ulukhaktok on Prince Albert Sound and the west coast of the island. Formerly known as Holman Island, the rocky island offshore is the site of a Hudson’s Bay Company centre. In 1944 Larsen reached here on his transit to Vancouver via the …

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Friday 25th August 2023 

At the start of the day, we were at 71N 130W heading due east at 14 knots with some fog. By 08:30 it was beginning to clear. We are en route to Franklin Bay and the unusual location known as Smoking Hills, where the Pebble Shales can self-combust. If one had been brought up in …

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Thursday 24th August 2023

We arrived at Herschel Island in the early morning light, with a temperature of 7C, fog, light winds and no swell. Later this morning we expect to be making a landing by Zodiac dinghies. The island is part of National Parks Canada as it is a former whaling station, Inuit settlement with lots of archaeological …

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Wednesday 23rd August 2023

It looked like a crisp summer morning off the North Slope when we had breakfast (4C, southerly wind, 15 knots, gusting 30). For the first time on the voyage, we have a moderate chop but nothing is sliding about in the restaurant yet! We are making good progress towards Herschel Island. This is a significant …

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Tuesday 22nd August 2023 

This is another getting there day. After breakfast we were at 71N 153W, with an air temperature of 7C, having travelled more than 650 nautical miles. We were heading southeast towards Prudhoe Bay, having passes Point Barrow during the night. Utqiagvik, Point Barrow, is the most northerly settlement of the USA. Essentially, it is a …

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Monday 21st August 2023 

By breakfast at 07:45 we had reached 73N 163W and had travelled 450 nautical miles from Nome. Passing the Icy Cape we were now off the North Slope. These are the last miles of the North American continent where the tundra slopes to sea level and the Arctic Ocean. The Cape was found on 17th …

Monday 21st August 2023  Read More »

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