Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Waiting Game

The winds have shifted from the south to the north slowly pushing the ice in a more southwesterly direction and hopefully opening a passage with low enough ice concentration to make it possible for Fiona, Perithia, and Bagan to arrive in Gjoa Haven soon.

12:03PM Email from Russ: "All well & happy. Waiting game. Fog. Wind shifting. 'Breaker Laurier ETA late tonight. Rec'd e-mail from Sprague on Bagan; all well, they are tied to floe and drifting 57 miles south of us. We drifted 12nm north last 18hrs [always staying about a mile offshore]."

11:32PM Email from Russ: "Got clear of ice and underway this PM. Made 15 miles. Now tiny anchor sitting on another floe to hold while getting more clear sea room ahead. 'Breaker' Laurier decided to hang out in Ross. We didn't need them for anything. If nothing else, it would have been nice party..."

Note added by RR on 8/29/09:

Fiona had called Coast Guard Station Iqualuit to give them a 'head's up,' a sort of 'float plan,' on where we were and what was happening; that she was surrounded by ice, making no progress and awaiting a change in the ice drift. They indicated Laurier was headed in Fiona's direction, we postulated perhaps in anticipation of the Hapag Lloyd expedition cruise ship Bremen steaming in from Greenland, and would check in with us upon arriving in the area. Iqualuit Coast Guard recommended that we review our abandon ship drill and make sure a "go bag" was packed and at the ready.  This seemed wise since ice can change rapidly and there was always a chance of our vessel being crushed.  They requested that Fiona check in every six hours via the Iridium phone with a position and status report until she was once again underway in clear water.

After two days and a half days of drifting with the ice, and a night about eight miles offshore maneuvering to find an open passage, Fiona started back in toward the forecasted open lead along the coast.  It was a magical journey through an 'ice bayou' ... lots of twisting and turning in channels that continued to open, open, always open ahead of the boat. Rather than being 'tortuous,' as others have reported, I found the trip in toward the open lead to require little effort . However time consuming it might have been, there was a wonderful 'meditative' quality about it.

Photo is Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker, Sir Wilfrid Laurier. ~DH~


  1. GodSpeed!

    PS - Maybe this Globe has to Warm up a tad more?

  2. you should turn around now before you become a statistic

  3. ://

    Oh hey Harry, let's prove GoreBull warming and attempt the classic "Northwest Passage" in August.

    We'll cash in on the "green" schtick and tell everyone about our wonderful "carbon free" life.

    Don't worry, if we get caught in the ice (and it threatens to lock us in like Shackelton), we'll use the RADIO and call for a 100 MW, fossil fuel powered ICEBREAKER to come and rescue us!

    What fun.


    Commentary by Marx-

    Although drowning would be too good for these goofs, mere frostbite and losing a few TOES would be satisfactory.

    They could LIMP around like old Pirates with "peg legs" and shout, "Arruuuughhh Me Bucko's, heave to and prepare to be marooned by the Maroons! Arrrrrggguuuuhhh.." (Apologies to Bugs Bunny...)

  4. American & Canadian CG's 'Getting fed up rescuing recreational 'pests'

    The Photo of Fiona listing at 30 degrees seems to have vanished.

    Awaiting Release of "Stuck Like Shackleton!" DVD

    Awaiting, "Proof: Global Warming's Doomed Us!", 'explanation' of "The UnPassable Passage"

    Awaiting, "Surrounded by a Growing Population of Polar Bears, we survived by tossing our Captain overboard", article by angry crew members.


  5. Mr. Gore and Anoymous- Maybe you should read up on Captain Forsyth before you pass such judgement from your comfortable computer, he is making huge contributions to the word, and has done a lot of research on the reliance our country has on fossil fuel. He has viable alternatives that he is trying very hard to share with the world. Oh and by the way he is an expert on energy and is still one of the most respected and accomplished electrical engineers in his field even though he is retired. He is a man that has accomplished his dreams in life by working hard and he is my hero. Russ and the rest of his crew should be admired not admonished. Call me bias, I am the Captain's daughter. Please share your negative comments elsewhere!