I saw that pathological liar Goddard has already started mocking this expedition. Does he even know this isn't a first?
Those Norwegians who circumnavigated the entire Arctic back in 2010, set sail from Murmansk on the 28th of July
, so in this sense our British friends are early.
The Norwegian crew reached the ice in the Laptev Sea on August 16th
This is how things looked back then, compared to now:
I think the ESS will be easy to pass a month from now, but the bottleneck will be Vilkitsky Strait and then all the way up to the New Siberian Islands. Even if UB SIC maps show open water there - which I'm not sure they will - there will still be plenty of small floes left that will prevent careless sailing.
It's not going to be easy for the Northabout crew! Lots of flash melting needed in the next 4 weeks. But if they make it through the Laptev on time, I think they have a good chance of going all the way.