Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Ice Maps and the Bellot Strait

Midnight sunset.  Cambridge Bay

Martin and the crew of Aventura left Cambridge Bay on Sunday.  On Tuesday, he called me from a small town about 200 nm east of Cambridge Bay and had me check the ice charts (Side note:  I have NO IDEA how to read ice charts).  Their internet connection was sketchy and he wasn't able to pull down the files himself without taking down the internet in his area.  So, it was up to me to talk him through the map.
Now imagine me trying to explain the
ice situation to Martin over the phone.
So after a few hours of me twerking my neck from left to right and saying to him, "ummm... it looks pretty clear."  He gave up on me and contacted Harry Stern at the Polar Ice Center and had him give him a more educated and thorough report of the ice between Goja Haven and the Bellot Strait.

According to Wikipedia...
The Bellot Strait is a passage of water in Nunavut separating Somerset Island on the north from the Boothia Peninsula on the south. At its eastern end is the Murchison Promontory, the northernmost part of mainland North America.

Here was Harry's reply:

"...OK, I guess you're going west to east.  From Gjoa Haven heading north, it looks like there is some ice between Matty Island and the Boothia Peninsula.  It may be passable, can't tell from the 3-km grid size of AMSR2. Beyond that, it's clear to Bellot Strait. There is a blob of ice in Larsen Sound, but it doesn't reach all the way to the coast of the Boothia Peninsula, so you can avoid it. Peel Sound is clear up to its northern end, and it may even be passable there too if the concentration is low enough.

I am so grateful to everyone that is willing to help Aventura's success.  It looks like they are going for it and going to pass through the Bellot Strait on Friday!