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Author Topic: The Arctic Cowboys Northwest Passage Kayak Expedition  (Read 536 times)

West Hansen

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The Arctic Cowboys Northwest Passage Kayak Expedition
« on: January 19, 2021, 03:40:52 PM »
www.westhansen.com

This is the third year we're planning to kayak uninterrupted the extent of the NWP. We are still discussing on which end to launch/finish (Tuktoyaktuk/Pond Inlet). 2019 we were held up by finances. 2020, by COVID-19. For 2021, we're getting vaccinated (already started), but will rely upon the measures/restrictions in place to safeguard the protection of the people who live up there. That said, since the 3-4 person solo kayak team is fairly light and can travel fast/easy, then we're going to be on standby status, at the ready, in case healthcare conditions are optimal and travel is permitted in the NWP.

That said, I'm open to comments/suggestions regarding which direction with regards to travel dates would be optimal for clear-ish conditions.

oren

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Re: The Arctic Cowboys Northwest Passage Kayak Expedition
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2021, 04:35:11 AM »
Welcome, West Hansen, and good luck in your endeavor. Keep us updated.

West Hansen

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Re: The Arctic Cowboys Northwest Passage Kayak Expedition
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2021, 04:46:29 AM »
Thanks, will do.

Our website will have live tracking and daily blogs. If I can get my BGAN working, I'll upload regular pic/vids along the route.

We've gotten some experience under out belts traveling fairly light and quick, so with luck we'll get the thumbs up and get up to the NWP this year.

Any thoughts on which is best: east/west or west/east?

WildFit

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Re: The Arctic Cowboys Northwest Passage Kayak Expedition
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2021, 04:37:54 PM »
www.westhansen.com

This is the third year we're planning to kayak uninterrupted the extent of the NWP. We are still discussing on which end to launch/finish (Tuktoyaktuk/Pond Inlet). 2019 we were held up by finances. 2020, by COVID-19. For 2021, we're getting vaccinated (already started), but will rely upon the measures/restrictions in place to safeguard the protection of the people who live up there. That said, since the 3-4 person solo kayak team is fairly light and can travel fast/easy, then we're going to be on standby status, at the ready, in case healthcare conditions are optimal and travel is permitted in the NWP.

That said, I'm open to comments/suggestions regarding which direction with regards to travel dates would be optimal for clear-ish conditions.

Recent Israeli studies hint to that the currently applied vaccines not only immunize the recipient but stop transmission as well which would certainly give reason for even higher optimism for your project as far as restrictions etc. is concerned.

Good luck, looking forward to read more about it later this year while "en route"

 8)
« Last Edit: January 21, 2021, 09:43:31 PM by WildFit »

Tor Bejnar

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Re: The Arctic Cowboys Northwest Passage Kayak Expedition
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2021, 06:10:33 PM »
I did an internet search related to your question.  (Hint:  I am neither a weather nor Arctic expert.)

From Wikipedia
Quote
From east to west, the direction of most early exploration attempts, ...

From memory, a multi-person boat (boats?) paddled from north Alaska to somewhere along the NW Passage about 2 years ago.

The first person to solo a sailboat around the Americas, Matt Rutherford in 2011-12, and therefore through the NW Passage, went from east to west.

Here's a book available through Amazon
Quote
Don Starkell decided to paddle a kayak from Hudson Bay 3,000 miles through the Northwest Passage ... , a voyage by kayak (paddled on water or dragged on a sled over the ice) that took him three Arctic summers.

From an old (2009) WeatherUnderground article:
Quote
An atmospheric pressure pattern set up in late July [2009?] that created winds that pushed old, thick ice into several of the channels of the Northwest Passage. Recent research by Stephen Howell at the University of Waterloo in Canada shows that whether the Northwest Passage clears depends less on how much melt occurs, and more on whether multi-year sea ice is pushed into the channels. Counter-intuitively, as the ice cover thins, ice may flow more easily into the channels, preventing the Northwest Passage from regularly opening in coming decades, if [big if] the prevailing winds set up to blow ice into the channels of the Passage.
Ideas:  when high (low) pressure is north of you, do you want to paddle with or against the wind?  Will HP or LP north of you cause stronger winds (to shelter from or assist in speed)?  Do you want to paddle with the ice, or only after the ice is mostly gone?

Best of luck and following breezes.
Arctic ice is healthy for children and other living things.

West Hansen

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Re: The Arctic Cowboys Northwest Passage Kayak Expedition
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2021, 02:18:09 PM »
Thanks, Tor. Yeah, I've got all the books and reports of pretty much every NWP expedition from the 1600's to present, including the more recent attempt by kayakers, sailors and rowers. What we're discussing right now is whether it is best to wait until mid-late July to determine if the more northern areas (Victoria Strait up through Prince Regent Inlet) will be open or to get a jump on the season and depart Tuk in late June (west-east) and hope by the time we get to King William Island the above-mentioned sections will be open.

In the first case, we will reduce the risk of yet another partial trip, by ensuring the NWP is open - but we take on the risk of having less time before winter sets in. In the second case, we cover the distance as soon as the southern portion is open - but run the risk of being stopped by ice halfway through.

So, I'm asking for thoughts on the subject. I appreciate your references and we're unable to rely upon past human powered attempts, due to multiple variables (lack of experience, speed, poor planning, etc...) and the fact that only one kayak expedition has attempted east-west.

beachykeen

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Re: The Arctic Cowboys Northwest Passage Kayak Expedition
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2021, 08:13:42 PM »
https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,3299.msg298560.html#msg298560

The 2021 image shows thick ice in the eastern Beaufort.  I have no idea whether there is enough space near the shore where things would melt out to give enough space for a kayak though.

oren

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Re: The Arctic Cowboys Northwest Passage Kayak Expedition
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2021, 09:37:18 PM »
My personal layman bet (as usual) is that routes 5 or 6 in this map will be the first to open. The northern ones are not guaranteed to open. Not sure if this helps in any way.


West Hansen

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Re: The Arctic Cowboys Northwest Passage Kayak Expedition
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2021, 04:06:36 AM »
Yep, those are the routes we're planning... now, just to determine which direction...