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Jim Hunt

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Pen Hadow's Arctic Mission
« on: July 25, 2017, 07:01:59 PM »
In a blaze of publicity in the UK media, including the Sunday Times and the BBC, British polar explorer Pen Hadow has announced his attempt to sail to the North Pole this summer. From the "Arctic Mission" web site:

In a few days time British explorer Pen Hadow leads Arctic Mission, an amazing expedition by yacht to explore, discover and share the previously unseen wildlife and ecosystem of the ocean around the North Pole.

This voyage of discovery will also show why the survival of its wildlife may now face serious threats because so much of the summer-time sea ice no longer protects it from commercial exploitation.

So welcome aboard, as we make one of history's most extreme and urgent voyages, putting everything on the line to explore this little-known and now vulnerable ecosystem in our planet's overall life-supporting system.

There's much more info at:

http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2017/07/pen-hadows-arctic-mission-to-sail-to-the-north-pole/

but to summarise, personally I don't think Pen's mission will be plain sailing. By way of one example, here's the current state of a patch of sea ice on the direct route from Nome, Alaska to the Pole:
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one - Albert Einstein

Neven

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Re: Pen Hadow's Arctic Mission
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2017, 08:24:05 PM »
I've seen the footage of both Sébastien Roubinet's attempts to sail to the North Pole from Alaska, using a special catamaran that can sail over flat ice. In other words, he and his companion can pull it out of the water and then pull it over the ice. You can't do that with a yacht. Even so, Roubinet's attempts failed, mostly due to bad luck, but also because conditions were intensely tough. They had to be evacuated by chopper.

So, at face value, this idea sounds pretty insane. They can't pull the yacht out of the water, so if they're unlucky, they'll be stuck for weeks in the same spot. Never mind when things get really rough in September and October.

I'm going to try and read more about this tonight. Hadow is an experienced Arctic explorer. I can't imagine he's stupid, so maybe he's just gambling on the ice retreating very far north. Which would be stupid.  :D

Thanks for opening the thread, Jim.
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Jim Hunt

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Re: Pen Hadow's Arctic Mission
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2017, 02:47:20 PM »
Pen Hadow and the rest of the Arctic Mission team will be answering questions on Facebook at 7 PM British Summer Time this evening, live from Nome, Alaska:

https://www.facebook.com/events/193909194479252/
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Jim Hunt

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Re: Pen Hadow's Arctic Mission
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2017, 10:13:05 PM »
As anybody who tried to watch the first Arctic Mission livestream from Nome, Alaska will have noticed, they seemed to be lacking adequate bandwidth!

The event has been rescheduled for 8 PM British Summer Time on Monday, August 7th:

https://www.facebook.com/events/331629733946310/

I am assured on Facebook that they will be answering a few questions of mine.
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one - Albert Einstein

Jim Hunt

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Re: Pen Hadow's Arctic Mission
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2017, 11:17:36 PM »
Another livestream from Nome, Alaska is due at 8 PM BST tomorrow evening, before a departure on the Arctic Mission scheduled for Friday:

http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2017/07/pen-hadows-arctic-mission-to-sail-to-the-north-pole/#Aug-9

A bumpy ride is in store for Pen Hadow et al. on Saturday:
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one - Albert Einstein

Jim Hunt

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Re: Pen Hadow's Arctic Mission
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2017, 11:05:25 PM »
Bagheera and Snow Dragon II will set sail (for the North Pole?) in the small hours of tomorrow morning (UTC):

http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2017/07/pen-hadows-arctic-mission-to-sail-to-the-north-pole/#Aug-14
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one - Albert Einstein

Jim Hunt

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Re: Pen Hadow's Arctic Mission
« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2017, 10:33:45 AM »
The Arctic Mission live tracking map is operational at last. Here is what it reveals so far:
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one - Albert Einstein

Tor Bejnar

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Re: Pen Hadow's Arctic Mission
« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2017, 04:32:07 PM »
It looks like they were testing their over-land capabilities, right off!   :P
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Jim Hunt

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Re: Pen Hadow's Arctic Mission
« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2017, 05:50:15 PM »
Bagheera and Snow Dragon II are now well into the Chukchi Sea and heading north:

http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2017/07/pen-hadows-arctic-mission-to-sail-to-the-north-pole/#Aug-19

It seems Erik de Jong is happy to sail through up to 60% concentration sea ice, so here's a custom extent map based on a 60% concentration threshold:
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one - Albert Einstein

Jim Hunt

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Re: Pen Hadow's Arctic Mission
« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2017, 12:21:50 AM »
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one - Albert Einstein

ghoti

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Re: Pen Hadow's Arctic Mission
« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2017, 01:06:52 AM »
AMSR2 seems to show the ice edge around 77.5n, 162w so they are getting close.

Niall Dollard

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Re: Pen Hadow's Arctic Mission
« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2017, 02:46:06 PM »
Pen's boat was reporting sub zero temp at 12 UTC today. (-1 C)

Jim Hunt

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Re: Pen Hadow's Arctic Mission
« Reply #12 on: August 23, 2017, 01:30:21 PM »
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one - Albert Einstein

Niall Dollard

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Re: Pen Hadow's Arctic Mission
« Reply #13 on: August 25, 2017, 01:00:11 PM »
Almost at 78 N. They have changed to a more easterly course now.


gerontocrat

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Re: Pen Hadow's Arctic Mission
« Reply #14 on: August 25, 2017, 03:19:02 PM »
I nicked the below image from a posting by A-team. Is The Hadow going in from the Russian side?
I can't but help feeling that it may be a couple of years too early for this venture.
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Jim Hunt

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Re: Pen Hadow's Arctic Mission
« Reply #15 on: August 25, 2017, 05:46:48 PM »
Is The Hadow going in from the Russian side?

No, but he may possibly be heading for the "Beaufort Bite"?
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one - Albert Einstein

gerontocrat

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Re: Pen Hadow's Arctic Mission
« Reply #16 on: August 29, 2017, 01:48:39 PM »
Will the melt season finish early this year?
Has it finished already?
Will The Pen Hadow be able to get in but not get out?

Article 98 of the Convention on the Law of the Sea

Duty to render assistance
1. Every State shall require the master of a ship flying its flag, in so far as he can do so without serious danger to the ship, the crew or the passengers:
a) to render assistance to any person found at sea in danger of being lost;

b) to proceed with all possible speed to the rescue of persons in distress, if informed of their need of assistance, in so far as such action may reasonably be expected of him;

Would the Russkies send an ice-breaker? (Good publicity)
Have the Canadians or the Yanks got an operational icebreaker?
Little Britain's Shackleton will still be up there?

One hopes that these are just rhetorical questions but I still think this venture is in danger of defying reality.



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Jim Hunt

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Re: Pen Hadow's Arctic Mission
« Reply #17 on: August 29, 2017, 06:31:12 PM »
Will The Pen Hadow be able to get in but not get out?

Pen Hadow is a person. The yachts he chartered are Bagheera and Snow Dragon II.

http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2017/07/pen-hadows-arctic-mission-to-sail-to-the-north-pole/#Aug-29-PM

They have just breached the 80 degrees north barrier:
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one - Albert Einstein

gerontocrat

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Re: Pen Hadow's Arctic Mission
« Reply #18 on: August 29, 2017, 08:08:11 PM »
Yes, I knew Pen is a person. But he is such a unique adventurer he is The Pen Hadow" to me.
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Jim Hunt

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Re: Pen Hadow's Arctic Mission
« Reply #19 on: August 30, 2017, 12:50:56 AM »
Yes, I knew Pen is a person.

My apologies for the misunderstanding!
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one - Albert Einstein

gerontocrat

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Re: Pen Hadow's Arctic Mission
« Reply #20 on: August 30, 2017, 02:40:08 PM »
But the real question is - what is the ice looking like between where Bagheera and Snow Dragon II. are at 80 north and the pole ?
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Rob Dekker

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Re: Pen Hadow's Arctic Mission
« Reply #21 on: August 31, 2017, 05:31:17 AM »
The Arctic Mission's objectives are applaudable :
http://www.arcticmission.com/protect90north/

However, I think they should now (Aug 30) turn their sail boats around and head back to shore ASAP, or they risk being frozen in within a week or two.

Remember how fast the ice progressed in September 2016 ?
Much faster than these sail boats can move...

oren

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Re: Pen Hadow's Arctic Mission
« Reply #22 on: August 31, 2017, 08:19:48 AM »
What I can't ynderstand is why they are so late. Seems like this wasn't the plan. But I expect them to turn back soon.
Arctic Mission sets off from Nome in Alaska (USA) in the first week of August. The expedition team will not see land again for six weeks. We will cover about 3,500 miles by the time they return to harbour at Nome in mid-September.

Niall Dollard

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Re: Pen Hadow's Arctic Mission
« Reply #23 on: August 31, 2017, 09:01:32 AM »
What I can't ynderstand is why they are so late. Seems like this wasn't the plan. But I expect them to turn back soon.
Arctic Mission sets off from Nom1e in Alaska (USA) in the first week of August. The expedition team will not see land again for six weeks. We will cover about 3,500 miles by the time they return to harbour at Nome in mid-September.

They have turned back now in a SEly direction.

http://www.arcticmission.com/arctic-mission-reaches-furthest-north/

I think it was a commendable mission. Every day we observe via satellite but great to have on the spot obs from the ice edge.

Jim Hunt

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Re: Pen Hadow's Arctic Mission
« Reply #24 on: August 31, 2017, 09:23:56 AM »
You beat me to it Niall!

http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2017/07/pen-hadows-arctic-mission-to-sail-to-the-north-pole/#Aug-31

Cue the cackling from all the usual suspects?
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one - Albert Einstein

Neven

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Re: Pen Hadow's Arctic Mission
« Reply #25 on: August 31, 2017, 10:26:02 AM »
It's easy to cackle if you have people saying they will sail to the North Pole, instead of saying they're going to try and sail further North than anyone has been without an icebreaker. No, we'll go to the North Pole this year and we'll have to come up with something else next year to garner enough attention (kayak to the Pole, swim to the Pole, row backwards to the Pole?).
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Jim Hunt

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Re: Pen Hadow's Arctic Mission
« Reply #26 on: August 31, 2017, 11:04:29 AM »
It's easy to cackle if you have people saying they will sail to the North Pole.

The point I was endeavouring to make in my original article was that it was the paragon of journalistic virtue that is the Sunday Times that wrote a headline to that effect above an article that didn't mention the existence of the Arctic Mission web site and its rather more nuanced mission statement.

However Pen Hadow did initially go along with that angle on things far too much for comfort, on the BBC and elsewhere.
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one - Albert Einstein

Neven

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Re: Pen Hadow's Arctic Mission
« Reply #27 on: August 31, 2017, 11:39:31 AM »
I understand how it all happened, and the cackling will be done by dishonest people, thus should be ignored. And of course, they've also been unlucky with how this melting season developed, given the possibilities at the start of it (lowest volume on record etc).

But if I were Pen Hadow or someone from his team, I would now emphasize that they made it as far as 80N and that they challenge others to make it further in years to come. Every time the record would be broken, it would be news, followed one day by someone sailing to the North Pole without any ice-breaker assistance.

If I'd have the guts to go out in a sailboat, I would maybe try to depart from Siberia or Scandinavia, and sail into the Laptev Bite. And I'd start earlier, much earlier, mid-July at the latest.
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Ninebelowzero

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Re: Pen Hadow's Arctic Mission
« Reply #28 on: August 31, 2017, 01:56:34 PM »
.....One hopes that these are just rhetorical questions but I still think this venture is in danger of defying reality....

The question of applying the laws of the sea to an Arctic Ocean with it's surface covered with several metres of ice wasn't really thought through at the time. It's a subject along with current icebreaker designs and capabilities (and those in planning) well worthy of a thread of it's own.





Neven

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Re: Pen Hadow's Arctic Mission
« Reply #29 on: August 31, 2017, 05:38:19 PM »
From the Arctic Mission blog:

Arctic Mission’s furthest North was 80 degrees 10 minutes North, 148 degrees 51 minutes West, reached at 22:04:12 (Alaskan Time, GMT-9hours) on 29 August 2017 by yachts, Bagheera and Snow Dragon II.

(...)

It is believed Arctic Mission has sailed further north from the coastlines surrounding the Arctic Ocean than any vessel in history without icebreaker support.

From my 2014 blog post called Ever sailed to 85N?:

In August, 1922, the Norwegian Department of Commerce sent an expedition to Spitsbergen and Bear Island under Dr. Adolf Hoel, lecturer on geology at the University of Christiania. The oceanographic observations (reported that) Ice conditions were exceptional. In fact, so little ice has never before been noted. The expedition all but established a record, sailing as far north as 81o29′ in ice-free water. This is the farthest north ever reached with modern oceanographic apparatus…

 ::)  :-X

edit: On second thought, they're not saying 'furthest North', but rather 'further north from the coastlines'. Those Norwegians in 1922 went from Svalbard, the northernmost point of which is itself already at 80N. You can reach 81N from there during some winters now.

I'm changing the emojis into:

 :) 8)

But with a bit more luck it should be possible to sail to 85N in the near future.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2017, 05:45:37 PM by Neven »
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Jim Hunt

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Re: Pen Hadow's Arctic Mission
« Reply #30 on: August 31, 2017, 05:44:23 PM »
Ever sailed to 85N?

See also:

http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2017/07/pen-hadows-arctic-mission-to-sail-to-the-north-pole/#comment-223098

It seems Babouchka doesn't count because she didn't only "sail". The absence of a safe return on her part is perhaps a valid point though?
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Neven

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Re: Pen Hadow's Arctic Mission
« Reply #31 on: August 31, 2017, 06:18:56 PM »
I think they're both valid points.
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Niall Dollard

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Re: Pen Hadow's Arctic Mission
« Reply #32 on: August 31, 2017, 06:49:21 PM »
Cue the cackling from all the usual suspects?


I hate the cacklers ! People who spend their whole time giving out and never do anything positive.

That tracking chart, Jim, looks kinda like The Plough/Big Dipper !

Jim Hunt

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Re: Pen Hadow's Arctic Mission
« Reply #33 on: September 02, 2017, 02:35:34 PM »
I hate the cacklers!

So does Snow White! She's been inspired to create a somewhat surreal modern Arctic art installation:

"Reductio Ad Absurdum"
« Last Edit: September 02, 2017, 02:42:28 PM by Jim Hunt »
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Rob Dekker

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Re: Pen Hadow's Arctic Mission
« Reply #34 on: September 04, 2017, 06:33:08 AM »
Just one thought that has been on my mind, ever since Pen Hadow left on this mission :
If they would have taken this trip last year, they could quite easily have made it to 86 North :