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Tor Bejnar

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Quest through the Pole: Sailing from Barrow to Spitsbergen
« on: July 11, 2013, 02:10:05 PM »
Quest through the Pole: Sailing the Arctic, from Barrow, Alaska to Spitsbergen, Svalbard
Summer 2013
French: http://www.sebroubinet.eu/
English: http://www.dptechnology.com/lang/cn/northpole2013/index.asp

From their blog:
  • 8-Jul-2013   Baboushka on her way to Spitsbergen!
    Sebastien and Vincent left Barrow at around 4pm on July 6th, and sailed 6 nautical miles in free water from Point Barrow before reaching ice and had to decipher: lands of recent thin ice, blocks moved by tidal current, and large slabs with high pressure ridges across which they finally decided to push Baboushka during a few hours before stopping for setting up the "night" camp. ...
  • 10-Jul-2013  [Bing translation] Today, the path of the pole offers fog and blocks in all directions, it is chaos with just water to bathe when blocks on which we walk flow or they capsize. The boat is very busy at the beginning of expedition, it suffers and suffering men.It is eager to find more favourable conditions. Otherwise all is well on edge.

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Neven

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Re: Quest through the Pole: Sailing from Barrow to Spitsbergen
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2013, 02:15:52 PM »
Thanks for this, Tor, I didn't know they had already started. This is quite a cool expedition, as seen on the 1 hour documentary they made from the one two years back (where technical failure forced them to return to Barrow). Extremely challenging physically though. I actually think it might have been easier in the past where they could glide over large and even ice floes, whereas now they have to make their way through lots of small ice floes, not easy to sail through, too small to glide over.

Anyway, I will do a blog post on this, next week or so.
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Tor Bejnar

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Re: Quest through the Pole: Sailing from Barrow to Spitsbergen
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2013, 02:16:31 PM »
The intro from their blog:
  • The heroes of our story are French natives Sébastien Roubinet and Vincent Berthet, explorers who shall set out in a special boat capable of sailing over water and ice to cross the 3,300 kilometers that lay between Barrow, Alaska, and Spitsbergen, Svalbard — and crossing the North Pole as they go.

    Battling biting waters and ice, the pair will be propelled by favorable winds as much as possible throughout the excursion, but will have to push the boat under their own steam when conditions afford them no other choice. The journey will be made with no external assistance, which necessitates that the dynamic duo be brave, as well as well-stocked with supplies and loaded with common sense and the passion to forge on when failure seems imminent.

     The two are also passionate environmentalists with a yen for the earth’s colder climes, which means they have a vested interest in the shrinking of the Arctic ice cap. As such, their mission is to not only survive, but, using an electromagnetic sounder, to measure the thickness of the ice along their journey.

I have no connection to this expedition; ’just discovered their website a week or two ago.  This may be the only surface attempt for the North Pole (or Santa’s swimming pool?) this year, so I expect some folks will be interested.
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Jim Hunt

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Re: Quest through the Pole: Sailing from Barrow to Spitsbergen
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2013, 02:05:32 PM »
In an entertaining extension to this story, I've just been publicly challenged to a $1000 bet that neither the Babouchka or the Arctic Joule "reaches their destinations this year"!
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Neven

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Re: Quest through the Pole: Sailing from Barrow to Spitsbergen
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2013, 02:37:19 PM »
Interesting bet, Jim! Now I haven't followed the Arctic Joule at all, I have to admit, but I did follow Sébastien's Roubinet failed attempt two years ago, and just a couple of months ago translated the documentary he made about the endeavour. If it weren't for a battery failure I think they might have made it two years ago already, although they weren't prepared for the conditions in the Beaufort Sea, expecting large floes they could glide over, but encountering a slush of smaller floes.

Either way, I'm sure Roubinet learned a lot that time and improved his vessel. So barring any technical failures this year or a crazy storm (like they had two years ago, which was actually quite dangerous), I think they stand a very good chance of making it to Svalbard.

Should turn this into a blog post, but no time......  :-\
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Tor Bejnar

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Re: Quest through the Pole: Sailing from Barrow to Spitsbergen
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2013, 06:02:06 PM »
[Translated by computer plus common(?) sense. (A real translator might shake his or her head.)]

...We came upon our first bears, a mother and her two cubs, including one who was very curious...!

also

 ...We are in open water ... to bypass a large area of ice.  What a pleasure to speed along and swallow miles!  Advantage of 10-15 knots of wind - until it falls tomorrow morning.
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Tor Bejnar

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Re: Quest through the Pole: Sailing from Barrow to Spitsbergen
« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2013, 11:41:56 PM »
Today they report very dirty ice (actually "glace très sale") and offer this picture:

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Laurent

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Re: Quest through the Pole: Sailing from Barrow to Spitsbergen
« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2013, 11:15:11 AM »
July 21, 2013
Profitable day today since we moved 17 miles to the north. In the morning, we were still in a very dense environment, but the ice sheets were quickly separated and we could move mainly on water and downwind. The road is still remained littered with hard points to cross and white areas or water channel does not appear, especially in the fog that accompanied us all day. So while one bar, the other is standing on the roof to identify the best passages then jumps forward to getting the boat between the blocks. And we actually traveled 23 miles and we should enjoy more water tomorrow.
For now, we prefer to continue to avoid excessive concentrations of ice because the boat is still heavy and prefers to avoid too strong impact on the ice. So we opted to sail as much as possible on the water until the 75th North to get on the pack when the boat is reduced.
http://www.sebroubinet.eu/photo%2021%20juillet%202013.jpg
(cannot upload gif, jpg ?)

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Re: Quest through the Pole: Sailing from Barrow to Spitsbergen
« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2013, 11:29:49 AM »
Let me try Laurent:



Presumably that's a historical image though? Where's the fog? Who's taking the picture?
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Re: Quest through the Pole: Sailing from Barrow to Spitsbergen
« Reply #9 on: July 21, 2013, 12:48:37 PM »
There is a polar bear taking the shot, that's the only solution.  :o ;)
...Unless they put the camera on a strong ice hold in video mode, circle around and retreave the shot they want !?

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Re: Quest through the Pole: Sailing from Barrow to Spitsbergen
« Reply #10 on: July 21, 2013, 12:54:23 PM »
The Babouchka seems to be sailing into something of a storm:

« Last Edit: July 21, 2013, 03:08:51 PM by Jim Hunt »
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Tor Bejnar

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Re: Quest through the Pole: Sailing from Barrow to Spitsbergen
« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2013, 02:12:38 PM »
Part of their blog entry today:
The rain falls, falls... It is the feast to the frog! We are wet, everything is wet but morale is good. Stopped early due to lack of wind ...
(translated by Bing)
I expect the wind will pick up with Arctic Storm "name to be determined on ASIB", and  unfortunately, it looks like it will be a headwind.
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Re: Quest through the Pole: Sailing from Barrow to Spitsbergen
« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2013, 11:26:56 AM »
July 23, 2013
13,000 miles in the north today, started to sail between the ice plates and then the wind dropped, we had to row. Now it started to rain and we await the arrival of the west wind that will blow the next two days and probably change a lot the state of the ice to the north in particular our future playground
Not much animals except a few birds and two Arctic cod sighted between two icicle.
We can not wait to find a good sun to dry our gear, but for now it is apparently too much to ask Mrs. weather ... we have tasted the chocolate pudding and it is very good

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Re: Quest through the Pole: Sailing from Barrow to Spitsbergen
« Reply #13 on: July 24, 2013, 11:15:32 PM »
July 24, 2013
Yesterday, the wind returned, as expected! We went at a good pace but the wind became stronger (30 knots in the gusts), we had to resolve to find a solid plate to tie up and wait. But the surprise was big at awakening since we did drift 12 miles overnight ... to the southeast! But we need more to deter our morale, we resume our journey, everything is fine on board.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2013, 12:15:37 AM by Laurent »

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Re: Quest through the Pole: Sailing from Barrow to Spitsbergen
« Reply #14 on: July 26, 2013, 04:39:13 PM »
July 26, 2013
After starting at 3H30, we had to battle an hour with the ice to find open water. Finally, we're off to the north. It is 7am the wind was again strong, which forced us to a new stop. 3 hours later we leave ... since we drive north to 5/6 knots. All is well despite some plates that slow us down. The ropes are beginning to swell with the ice but the conditions are more pleasant now. We are so happy to finally move for miles to the north.

Tor Bejnar

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Re: Quest through the Pole: Sailing from Barrow to Spitsbergen
« Reply #15 on: July 27, 2013, 03:02:57 PM »
From their journal today (translated):
… We are fast approaching the 75th parallel, symbolic marking the beginning of a more favorable terrain, where the waterways will be much rarer. Already ice sheets do not have the same face, while they were brown and battered in the south, they are now mostly very white and rather thin.
Finally we got a bit of sun that allowed us to dry our clothes and sleeping bags!
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Re: Quest through the Pole: Sailing from Barrow to Spitsbergen
« Reply #16 on: July 29, 2013, 01:18:33 PM »
29 july 2013
That's it, we went through the 75th North, sailed all day between water and ice 20 miles in total but only 7 in a straight line to the north. But hey, we are moving and tomorrow the west wind should return, which will allow us to make a more direct route to the north. Otherwise, the water has invided a supposed waterproof box where there was some baterries  and a backup phone stored. Result: a quarter of our battery stock is screwed and we do not yet know if the phone will work again. Everything goes well on board, the ice is beautiful and our sleeping bags are almost dry.

(From : http://www.sebroubinet.eu/la-voie-du-pole_nouvelles.html)

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Re: Quest through the Pole: Sailing from Barrow to Spitsbergen
« Reply #17 on: July 31, 2013, 09:27:25 AM »
July 31, 2013
Small weather, ice, fog, snow and moving against the conveyer belt: this is the menu for a physical but little pay day! We made ​​6.5 miles but eventually end up 2 miles from our previous position... Not very pleasant, but we always keep a good moral. Then the ice is beautiful, many belugas and swimming (involuntary) common.

All is well on board, the ice is beautiful and our sleeping bags are almost dry now !

(from a french blog : http://www.sebroubinet.eu/)

Tor Bejnar

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Re: Quest through the Pole: Sailing from Barrow to Spitsbergen
« Reply #18 on: August 02, 2013, 07:37:08 PM »
[translated - mix of Bing, Google and me!] 
August 2, 2013 ...we sailed 7 miles with a little headwind.  We found an ice floe with water spaces that are pretty well chained, and then, after some snow, even a little sun!
No bears in sight, only a few gulls who wonder why we're here ...
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Re: Quest through the Pole: Sailing from Barrow to Spitsbergen
« Reply #19 on: August 03, 2013, 11:46:21 PM »
3 august 2013
Hello and good morning
We saw a bear when we had a break this afternoon, probably attracted by the smell of our pasta bolognese! It was a young male very curious who came within twenty meters of the boat despite our shouts. We fired three shots of lead between his feet but that did not bother him at all ... It is ultimately a flare in the legs which has pushed him away and quietly, but unfortunately our way was his. We changed our itinerary for not crossing him again ...
Today we continued to follow the water channels in doomy weather but in good spirits until the end of the day, we were tired to go to the water through this young ice that has not more than one winter.
We leave you, enjoy the warmth!

From : http://www.sebroubinet.eu/la-voie-du-pole_nouvelles.html
(Should I admit that I am using Google translate...some work to translate google afterward )

Tor Bejnar

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Re: Quest through the Pole: Sailing from Barrow to Spitsbergen
« Reply #20 on: August 04, 2013, 02:28:53 AM »
Admit it only if you want to  ;D
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Re: Quest through the Pole: Sailing from Barrow to Spitsbergen
« Reply #21 on: August 05, 2013, 02:21:13 PM »
August 5, 2013
Today we managed to move to the north west. We are on way to the north. Otherwise, it was quite cold, we even started having small stalactites on the boat, we are heating ourselfs with some hot tea heated with our solar panels. A little south wind would be perfect to push as north !

Tor Bejnar

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Re: Quest through the Pole: Sailing from Barrow to Spitsbergen
« Reply #22 on: August 07, 2013, 02:12:54 PM »
[translated by Google with my interpretations]
August 7, 2013
This morning [yesterday morning?] the wind shifted to the south with the arrival of the storm that is supposed to sweep the Arctic today. We started going south around a blocking floe and then were able to resume our journey north/northwest at high speed (over 10 knots during wind gusts). Our progress was good [for?] 15 hours, but the wind got too strong (35 knots), and there were too many floes to navigate around, so we decided to stop and let the strong winds pass us by. We are now in the shelter of a large floe that is drifting northeastward at 0.5 knots, and we rest. This storm is blowing especially to our north, and we hope that it clears the way by breaking up floes, creating open water. We hope this will allow us to catch up in recent days [rest from strenuous efforts?].
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Tor Bejnar

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Re: Quest through the Pole: Sailing from Barrow to Spitsbergen
« Reply #23 on: August 07, 2013, 03:09:26 PM »
OR
 [new interpretation of the translation of last sentence above]
We hope this predicted more-broken ice will allow us to increase our rate of travel to make up for recent slow days.
[Neven, if he reads both the French and this, is either enjoying my struggles or wishing I would shut up!]
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Re: Quest through the Pole: Sailing from Barrow to Spitsbergen
« Reply #24 on: August 07, 2013, 11:47:09 PM »
No, keep going, Tor. I'd translate myself if I'd have the time, but I do get the updates in my mail box as well. Still haven't found the time to write a piece that does the effort justice.
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Tor Bejnar

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Re: Quest through the Pole: Sailing from Barrow to Spitsbergen
« Reply #25 on: August 09, 2013, 05:24:08 PM »
[Bing, Google and I did the translating this time.]
August 9, 2013
We were able to leave after the last gusts of wind. The cyclone left a grim landscape, fractured floes and stray ice debris are living their last hours. Larger floes resisted but the cyclone snacked on them as well. We feel honored that the storm opened a channel to the NNW which is where we want to position ourselves. We still have had to cross several floes that blocked the way, including one nearly 3 miles across.

45 miles navigated yesterday; we have taken advantage of the last helpful winds of the cyclone to move northwards. Fog is very dense, we hope to find a floe strong enough to stop this night [last night]...

Next day [today], a beneficial day since we have added 36 miles to our trip-meter, with a significant portion to the North. Navigation was rather easy, staying close to the edges of tender decaying ice floes. We stayed in street clothes because we didn't need to disembark from the boat before the end of the day. The effects of the cyclone on the ice are obvious; we look forward to seeing if it had the same impact to our North.
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Laurent

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Re: Quest through the Pole: Sailing from Barrow to Spitsbergen
« Reply #26 on: August 11, 2013, 08:03:24 PM »
August 11, 2013
Upon waking this morning, All the boat was covered with a thick layer of ice several centimeters around ropes and rigging. These days the temperatures are globally negative, even if today we had a bit of sun. Then we made good progress despite some obstacles, visibility was good which allowed us to find the most effective passages. with this nearly clear sky, we should be able to get good satellite picture for our tomorrow planning. It is 21h and we continue to navigate.

(From : http://www.sebroubinet.eu/la-voie-du-pole_nouvelles.html)

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Re: Quest through the Pole: Sailing from Barrow to Spitsbergen
« Reply #27 on: August 11, 2013, 09:00:05 PM »
Laurent, do you know how far North they are?
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Re: Quest through the Pole: Sailing from Barrow to Spitsbergen
« Reply #28 on: August 11, 2013, 09:08:46 PM »
Do you know how far North they are?


Their last GPS report was on the 9th, when they were at 76.227 N, 172.642 W. According to my calculations that left them just over 1500 km still to go to the pole.

http://www.sat-view.fr/interface/interface.php?login=voiedupole
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Tor Bejnar

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Re: Quest through the Pole: Sailing from Barrow to Spitsbergen
« Reply #29 on: August 12, 2013, 04:52:14 PM »
They were at 76 ° 45N - 174 ° 10W according to their August 11 post.  A technical glitch prevents the map that shows their location from working, they report.  The map roughly shows their path, and is available on their French language website referenced in first post above - click on "Sat-View".
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Re: Quest through the Pole: Sailing from Barrow to Spitsbergen
« Reply #30 on: August 13, 2013, 10:04:03 AM »
August 13, 2013
This morning we were able to sail 10 miles before facing a pack of ice that we are going through. The wind dropped completely so we are weaving in and out between the ice with our oars. Sometimes we have to bring the boat on the plates, there is 8 miles that we are pulling the boat we are and we should soon see the end and find a better passage to the north.
We also have seen bear's tracks, we will tell you if we come across ... Otherwise it's nice and "hot" today, and even our sleeping bags have dried, a beautiful day!

(The Gps tracker is still malfunctioning)

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Re: Quest through the Pole: Sailing from Barrow to Spitsbergen
« Reply #31 on: August 15, 2013, 07:12:44 PM »
August 15, 2013
78° N and onward-ho! This morning, we did not expect to reach this far north because there was no wind and we were stuck in an ice zone. We therefore undertook a wide detour to the south, then the wind finally decided to pick up, but from the north. Gradually, however, we managed to earn miles to the north. Waterways are emerging and we arrive at 78° N - 3° in 9 days is not bad! Otherwise, it's gray and cold [...]. But we are happy and tonight we even ate double rations to celebrate the milestone.
[translated by Google, Bing and me, with [...] for what I don't understand]
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Tor Bejnar

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Re: Quest through the Pole: Sailing from Barrow to Spitsbergen
« Reply #32 on: August 15, 2013, 09:08:42 PM »
In addition, they offer this photo today.  With one sailor (it appears to me) in the picture and the other presumably taking the shot, I hope the boat is well tied down!

Boy, though, is it beautiful up there!
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Re: Quest through the Pole: Sailing from Barrow to Spitsbergen
« Reply #33 on: August 17, 2013, 07:02:28 PM »
August 17, 2013
Yesterday we rowed much due to lack of wind … We have advanced 14 miles to the north, which is not so bad when you consider that we went through an area of ​​dense ice.
Today, it started with snow and no wind ... The spinnaker has allowed us to move at 6 knots in large areas of water with ice floes often forcing us to maneuver. The game was to weave and / or pass [over] it [;] on and [on] it went ... almost never without slowing us! Result of this beautiful day: 36 miles to the north.
[or something like this]
This is where they are (see the little circle?):
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Re: Quest through the Pole: Sailing from Barrow to Spitsbergen
« Reply #34 on: August 19, 2013, 03:09:27 PM »
Their Sat-View map is working again  :)  http://www.sat-view.fr/interface/interface.php?login=voiedupole
The quest to the pole
Type of boat: hybrid catamaran/char-to-ice
Crew: Sébastien Roubinet and Vincent Berthet
Date Time of the last point: 2013-08-19 08:38:00 (French time)
Last map update: 2013-08-19 14:48:29
Latitude: N 79 ° 51.65  Longitude: W 176 ° 52.64
Cap: 156 °  [Cap" is in French and is unchanged by Bing or Google translater.  Can anybody reading this explain?]
Speed: 0.55 kts = 1.02 km/h
Average speed: 0.91 kts = 1.69 km/h
Distance: 941.27 Nm = 1743.52 miles
Tracking generated on the platform Sat-View - http://www.sat-view.fr/interface/interface.php?login=voiedupole
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Re: Quest through the Pole: Sailing from Barrow to Spitsbergen
« Reply #35 on: August 19, 2013, 03:51:22 PM »
Cap is in French and is unchanged by Bing or Google translater.  Can anybody reading this explain?]


I had always assumed it meant "Heading", and having just double checked it seems I was right for a change!
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Re: Quest through the Pole: Sailing from Barrow to Spitsbergen
« Reply #36 on: August 20, 2013, 04:57:31 PM »
August 19, 2013 - In search of the black cloud

This morning the fog quickly dropped, we did apply that moment to search water areas with our hardly acquired knowledge. It is to observe the clouds: if they are white and very bright there is ice below, if they are gray there is water and ice and finally if they are black that is a large body of water. With a bit of practice and luck (good clouds), we have a map of the ice ahead looking at the sky. That did helped us to make more than 20 miles in the north. Stalactites grow well throughout the ship, as to future conditions, they are not very good with fairly strong north winds, that should melt the ice, which is positive for us.
Our health? It's all right even if we have lose some weight because we did rationed at the beginning. From now on, we will be able to resume normal rations. Regarding frostbite, Vincent has got the nose a little white, but nothing serious. My feet are better, the finger that froze the first week became blue and brown, i was not proud, but he is again white and sensible, like new! I still have cold feet and Vincent the hands but it is manageable...

Mister Wayne did not tell us that !   ;)

From : http://www.sebroubinet.eu/

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Re: Quest through the Pole: Sailing from Barrow to Spitsbergen
« Reply #37 on: August 20, 2013, 06:02:59 PM »
20/08/2013 17:51:14
Latitude: N 80° 0.65
Longitude: W 175° 19.16

Another milestone!
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Re: Quest through the Pole: Sailing from Barrow to Spitsbergen
« Reply #38 on: August 22, 2013, 07:17:02 PM »
August 22, 2013
For several days, we thought about our life and our dry sleeping bags sealed in some waterproof bags under the bridge. But yesterday, during an inspection, we realized we had sea water inside the bags. It will be very hard if not impossible to dry them because of the weather we have: A hard blow to our morale. So we are blocked by the north wind too strong, it's raining and everything is wet ... And we are drifting south 10 miles per day, that is the picture of these days!
The nice thing is that the ice breaks up and melts before our eyes, and we slept well to leave tomorrow in shape !

from : http://www.sebroubinet.eu

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Re: Quest through the Pole: Sailing from Barrow to Spitsbergen
« Reply #39 on: August 24, 2013, 02:11:53 PM »
August 24, 2013
This morning, late check out due to weather uncertain. A front was expected with winds of 20 to 30 knots gusting to 50 knots. The wind was getting stronger but seemed so uncertain so we called Pierre Lasnier, the weather router, to know what it was, and after checking, he told me that the front had disappeared and the wind were to weaken, let's go to the north then (thank you Peter) and it works well, we are approaching the 80 ° 50N navigating on water and ice to cross the plates that stand in our way.

from : http://www.sebroubinet.eu/


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Re: Quest through the Pole: Sailing from Barrow to Spitsbergen
« Reply #40 on: August 26, 2013, 12:45:44 PM »
August 26, 2013
Yesterday we sailed in the ice against the wind and did begin to catch up our 3 miles night drift loss. The plates are larger than in the south, a little thicker but still very smooth. They are quite packed together by the wind, we hope it will finally turn and leave unpacked wider passages. In any case, we are happy because we are making our miles, even though our days end at 23h.
We have reach the 81parallel !
This morning, we were able to go directly into the water 5 mile in the north before getting on the first plate. Since then, we have climbed on 10 plates until 8:00, a record! Before going into a more dense area. If it snows, it's seriously refreshing but at the same time, it is less humid. we are dreaming a good strong wind in our back !
« Last Edit: August 27, 2013, 08:36:36 AM by Laurent »

jbg

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Re: Quest through the Pole: Sailing from Barrow to Spitsbergen
« Reply #41 on: August 27, 2013, 05:15:34 AM »
In an entertaining extension to this story, I've just been publicly challenged to a $1000 bet that neither the Babouchka or the Arctic Joule "reaches their destinations this year"!
I see there's been forward progress but would anyone mistake this for a smooth sail?

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Re: Quest through the Pole: Sailing from Barrow to Spitsbergen
« Reply #42 on: August 27, 2013, 01:28:25 PM »
I see there's been forward progress but would anyone mistake this for a smooth sail?


I doubt that, and I don't think anyone anticipated "a smooth sail". The Arctic Joule team in particular characterised their expedition as "The Last First", in part because they have no sail!
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Re: Quest through the Pole: Sailing from Barrow to Spitsbergen
« Reply #43 on: August 29, 2013, 01:01:10 PM »
The August 29th report from Babouchka, including a fair bit of poetic licence on my part!

A lot has happened over the last 2 days. First we passed 82°N, after a 19 hour day and much effort. Then we were forced to stop for 30 hours waiting for some strong winds to subside, which allowed us to rest properly. The next day began with temperatures of minus 20 degrees and a large floe to cross to warm us up.

Once we reached water again we had to shoot through dozens of gaps between the ice floes, until finally we arrived in an area where the snow had formed a surface like molasses. Then to move forward, we had to crush the molasses with our feet while rowing, all with a boat not strong enough to push through by force. So last night at midnight we had no strength for anything, and we collapsed.

Today temperatures are warmer, minus 5°C, but we found the same sea conditions. The sun is finally rising, and tonight we will stop earlier (9 PM) to get the duvets dry, perform a CTD reading and do some tinkering.


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Re: Quest through the Pole: Sailing from Barrow to Spitsbergen
« Reply #44 on: August 29, 2013, 01:21:56 PM »
The gap that is opening in the pack from the pacific to the atlantic should allow them to sail on a highway !

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Re: Quest through the Pole: Sailing from Barrow to Spitsbergen
« Reply #45 on: August 29, 2013, 04:15:40 PM »
Maybe not if there ends up being a "surface like molasses" for much of the way?
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one - Albert Einstein

Laurent

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Re: Quest through the Pole: Sailing from Barrow to Spitsbergen
« Reply #46 on: August 29, 2013, 04:59:25 PM »
Will see how it is going on !
I bet for a clearance within two days ! euhh no 3 days...(?) ;)

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Re: Quest through the Pole: Sailing from Barrow to Spitsbergen
« Reply #47 on: August 30, 2013, 09:14:09 PM »
A rare English language report dated 8/26 from http://www.dptechnology.com/lang/cn/northpole2013/index.asp adds to the more regular French updates:
Yesterday, Seb and Vince passed the 82nd parallel north, which means that they now have less distance to cover from their present location to the North Pole than from the pole to Svalbard and the Island of Spitsbergen, which is just under the 81st parallel on the other side of the pole.
 
Although they now travel at a desirable speed, due in part because of melting ice and favorable wind, the eight degrees left to travel is quite a distance in such a small craft. The distance to the pole is now 480 nautical miles, which is 552 miles or 889 kilometers.
 
Seb and Vince would love to take advantage of some downwind conditions to cover the remaining distance as fast as possible, but no luck so far. Pulling or pushing the Babouchka remains part of their daily load, as they are still within a damp northerly front that makes sailing tricky between plates of ice.

It looks like things will get better in a few days, according to forecasters. Hopefully they will enjoy some sun to dry their spare clothes because, at these latitudes, equipment that is supposedly waterproof is definitely not.
 
The frostbite is also getting much better. Seb has now fully recovered feeling in his toes and their color is back to normal. And while they continue to suffer from the cold much more than expected, their passion and commitment carry them onward in battle. Soon they will make it and we will see our ESPRIT logo live from one of the two webcams installed at the North Pole. Go, Seb and Vince, go!

(I've been mostly too busy to visit the ASIB/F this week. Thanks, Laurent, for keeping up!)
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Re: Quest through the Pole: Sailing from Barrow to Spitsbergen
« Reply #48 on: August 30, 2013, 09:18:03 PM »
I've been holding my breath for these guys for weeks now, with all the bad weather etc. I should've given them some attention on the ASIB, but I'm glad I didn't, out of fear of jinxing things. I really, really hope they'll make it. This is truly heroic stuff of the Amundsen-type.
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Re: Quest through the Pole: Sailing from Barrow to Spitsbergen
« Reply #49 on: September 01, 2013, 07:38:33 PM »
I'm afraid you'll have to hold your breath for a while longer Neven:

Sébastian and Vincent have triggered their distress beacon.


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