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Thursday, August 5, 2010

Another tail...

2 years ago we were in Cambridge Bay in Berrimilla waiting for the ice to open in the central NW Passage to the east. Here is the most recent ice coverage  chart issued 2 days ago.

The ice seems to be more extensive this year. I have just spoken to Peter Semotiuk, that wonderful man in Cambridge Bay who, in his own time, looks after all the small boats attempting the passage with twice daily radio skeds. He says there are about 9 vessels hanging around waiting including someone in a solo rowing boat who is about 70 miles east of us, holed up in a bay on Devon Island sheltering from the wind and snow. There's another in Pond Inlet, a couple in Greenland and others in the west near Point Barrow. Lancaster Sound was not nice when we flew over and I'm sure it's a lot nastier at the moment but things can change very fast.

But as Peter says, ain't no-one going nowhere at the moment and the central arctic ice is still solid. Just goes to emphasise how lucky we were when we went through.

In the photos, the icebreaker in the bay is the CCGS Henry Larsen. Her chopper has been doing crew transfers and freight lifts all day. A C17 that was scheduled to land earlier did a low pass over the airstrip and diverted to Yellowknife. I'm not surprised, but it seems to be clearing now and appendages crossed we will get out tomorrow.