Sunday, September 2, 2012

A new demonstration of climate change

A small sailboat (a 31 year-old sloop with a tiller!) has navigated the M'Clure Strait—the N.W. Passage is now open to pleasure craft.  Well, an exceptionally seaworthy Swedish-built yacht.  There's a great deal of distilled boatbuilding wisdom in the Viking lands and boats that cannot weather bad conditions don't get sailed much.

Even so, reading that they were subject to 55 kph winds and 12 foot seas in waters filled with sharp ice shards means they were exposed to some of the nastiest conditions on the open ocean.  A great boat crewed by some serious sailors!

August 29, 2012

‘A Passage Through Ice’ Sailing Expedition has just completed the crossing of the infamous M’Clure strait in the Canadian Arctic to become the first sailboat ever to achieve this feat. The international expedition team consisting of Edvin Buregren, Nicolas Peissel and Morgan Peissel have spent the last three months at sea on a 31 foot boat sailing from Newfoundland Canada to Greenland, through the Canadian Arctic to track the depleting polar ice cap and bring awareness to climate change.

“The Arctic is melting at an alarming rate and is clear proof of our disharmony with the planet. By sailing this newly opened route we hope that our expedition will play a small part in bringing further attention to climate change and contributing to a larger shift in attitudes. Our approach to sail across a historical stretch of water that has traditionally been frozen is meant to be a clear visual example of the extent of declining polar ice.”

We will continue to track the polar ice cap towards the Bering strait where we will head into the Pacific Ocean to complete the most Northern Northwest passage ever accomplished by a sailboat.

Designer: Olle Enderlein
Shipyard: Hallberg-Rassy
Model: Monsun

Length: 9,36m
Beam: 2,87 m
Draught: 1,40m
Sail Area: 430 sq ft
Displacement: 4200 kg
Keel weight: 1900 kg
Material: GRP Sandwich
Keel: Ballast Iron
Diesel Tank: 120 l
Water Tank: 160 l
Year: 1976

Belzebub II is a Monsun 31 built in Sweden by Hallberg- Rassy in 1976. The Monsun is a 31-foot GPR boat, designed by Olle Enderlein who claimed that ”beautiful boats are great sailors”. He designed it to be a sturdy long distance sailor that could double as a family cruiser.

The Hallsberg-Rassy Monsun is best known for its abilities through the adventures of legendary sailor Kurt Bjorklund and his boat “Golden lady” which accomplished three and a half circumnavigations. It is a proven solid cruising boat that can withstand the harshest environments and she will now deliver us through the Arctic Ocean.

Belzebub was prepared for a circumnavigation by her previous owner who abandoned his plan after a rough week on the north sea. She came with some blue water equipment like Radar, and windvane but everything needed reinstallation due to poor installation. Since the boat had been neglected for a few years she had several leaks from her deteriorating teak deck and both the electrical system and plumbing needed to be totally replaced. Over the last three years she has had more than 2000 hours of work put into her electrical system, deck replacement, through hull re-bedding, rig replacement, radar arch design, kitchen renovations, anchor box reconfiguration and engine overhaul. Belzebub2 is now well prepared for a long and demanding expedition sail through the Arctic and around the world. (from the press release)
A publicity stunt to prove a serious point.  It's a record low Arctic ice year. All the major records have fallen over the past week or two. Which will surely affect our weather here in the lower 48.

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