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Noble Marine 2022 SW - LEADERBOARD

The most anticipated NWP is underway!

by Victor Wejer, PO NWP 20 Aug 08:44 UTC
Admiral Bellingshausen crew in Fort Ross © Victor Wejer

Just over 30 ships and sailing vessels are trying their best to navigate the Northwest Passage. Initial outlook for ice didn't give much comfort to all who are asking questions and expressing doubts.

As a result, a good number of sailing boats decided to postpone crossing until 2024. Among them were three OCC boats making the list for 2024 with 11 others.

Some old veterans showed up this year including Skip Novak and Clive Shute. David Cowper showed up, but as always keeping his interests away from media. One Dutch boat is making a return transit after crossing west last year.

Similar to last year's weather pattern, the forecast is showing strong gale+ easterly winds lasting all week now in the Eastern Arctic sweeping all ice back to the High Arctic; and in the Western Arctic, the westerly winds plus heat waves in the Yukon are melting all the ice. The usual Alaska North Slope made some delays for just a few sail boats heading east.

As predicted Estonian Admiral Bellingshausen has been leading the way and already left Atlantic waters in Bellot Strait.

I made up the composite photo of ice conditions as of now showing nearly all the Arctic with no ice, unlike anything seen since 2011.

Amazingly, I can already attest to a change in communication via satellites in the Arctic. Many of the boats are using the new Starlink, having voice contact with its cell phones and Gmail, and not worrying about the size of ice chart attachments. And it sounds cheap.

This article has been provided by the courtesy of the Ocean Cruising Club.

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