Yesterday was a great day as I received emails from both Peter Semotiuk the friendly weather router from Cambridge Bay and David Thoreson probably one of the most knowledgeable Arctic sailors alive at the moment. Both have been mentioned before in our blog and have sent us some fantastic information regarding our trip.
Peter has sent us some great information concerning our unique route through the northwest passage and possible new sailing grounds to explore he writes:
“There are regions in almost all the arctic where ice had cleared in the past few summers that really did not in the last 30 or more years. Of course these places are not really mapped with depths,etc. These would be interesting to see and sail on……..with some risk! Barrow Strait and further west into Viscount Melville Sound have for the past several were largely clear of ice but not totally.
A lot of McClintock Channel was free also. Although not so much last year, but the waters between Canada and Greenland north of Smith Sound had little ice for a few days. Some of these places can fill back up again with loose ice because of winds, currents,etc. in a hurry. Even Lancaster Sound, which can open early, than get clogged full with broken ice.”
“You will start getting an idea of where the openings will be (like Peel Sound or Bellot Strait) in mid to late July. Depending on which side of of Lancaster Sound is open you can go all the way into Erebus Bay (north side) or Port Leopold (south side). Erebus is great because of the Franklin expedition history and graves there and very protected. Easy access to both Peel and Prince Regent Inlet. No services. Be wary of Resolute. It is an unprotected harbor with ice moving in and out all the time. You can easily get trapped there anytime. But they do have fuel and provisions if needed. The guts of the passage are the 300 mile stretch down to Gjoa Haven. If you make it you are making the passage. Do not force it. Be patient. It WILL open!”
Its information like this that gets Edvin and I so excited for the adventure and allows us to better plot our voyage and make contingency plans.