For Berrimilla's first circumnavigation, the International Space Station
and the North West Passage, go to

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

HMP link

View HMP in a larger map

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The call of the Arctic.

It looks as if it might actually happen! Next Sunday I'm flying to Ottawa on a big aeroplane and then the next day on a much smaller aeroplane from Ottawa north to Iqaluit, along the length of Baffin Island to Nanisivik and then across Lancaster Sound to Resolute Bay. We will reverse my earlier experience of arriving at Cape Desolation in Berrimilla after flying over it less than a year before. This time we will cross Berrimilla's actual track close to Prince Leopold Island (in the background in the photo).

The flight from Ottawa crosses some of the most desolate terrain in the world. One of my favourite authors, Ernest K Gann, wrote a novel about this corner of Canada based on an actual plane crash and the search in which he took part - it was called Island in the Sky and it was made into a film. I have never seen the film but the book is a wonderful description of the territory.

From Resolute, weather permitting, on an even smaller aeroplane, probably a Twin Otter, to Devon Island and the Haughton Mars Camp. There are several blogs by the scientists up there - here is one I have just been sent:

I've spent the last week squeezing all my arctic survival gear into a small bag and collecting all the camera and computer and satphone connector gizmos into a heap so that I can distribute them around the pockets in my jacket - less chance of losing them in the baggage transfers!

So there will be photos, bloggery and possibly - for the Australians - a satellite phone call to Macca on Sunday August 8th.

And still Dry...

Watch this space.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

HMP in google earth

I have been trying to post a google earth placemark on this blog so that it works as a link. I'm sure it must be possible but it has defeated me so if you want to find the Haughton Mars Camp, feed these co-ordinates into google earth and they should take you there.

There may be a link on the HMP website as well. and click on HMP

Good luck!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Respectability for an old fart?

Another abridged version of the North West Passage transit - this one appropriately acknowledging Corrie and Kimbra - in the Friends of the Pitt Rivers Museum Newsletter. What an erudite spot for a scruffy old geezer to hang a byline! And all from talking to a spaceman on Berrimilla's batphone. Thanks to the Editor for permission to post the page - and to Leroy Chiao for a special kind of erudition.

For those of you who don't know, there's a longer article in the July issue of Yachting World. It would be interesting to know how the Friends overlap with the readers of Yachting World.

Devon Island YES!

From Keith Cowing 


At last , you get to see our smelly, isolated, quirky, home away from home!

Pictures, blogs, PLEASE!

Get Pascal to take you north to the canyons and inlets.  And please get to Beechey Island if at all possible.

Working on it mate - working on it. Watch this space.

Haughton Mars Camp

For anyone still following, the blog will resurrect in a few days. I have been invited up to Devon Island by Pascal as part of the summer programme for the Haughton Mars Project ( and click on HMP) and I'm flying up there on august 1st for about 10 days - almost exactly two years since we got so close in Berrimilla.

I'll take a laptop and the satphone so that I can keep the blog going but will only be able to send photos if I can use the camp internet connection. If not, then lots when I get back.

Crossing the fingers and all other appendages that I might be able to visit the Fraknlin graves at Beechey Island. We got so close enough in 2008 to see the cliffs behind Beechey. Go to  for the book and the story. The photos of young John Torrington, who died on January 1st 1846 and his two colleagues have for years haunted me - until I met Pascal in Louisiana, I never imagined that I might one day visit their graves.