North West Passage Made By Sail!


Last week I posted about the North West Passage now being fully navigable thanks to global warming and the rapid retreat of the polar ice caps. Today, we have a story from TheOceans.net (part of the vast ExWeb network) that the almost mythical waterway has been completely navigated by a sail for the first time.

A specially designed sailboat was name the Babouche was designed and built by Sebastien Roubinet, who was also the expedition leader for this tricky journey. It took Sebastien, along with his crew, more than a year to build the 7.5 meter long ice catamaran that was specially fitted to glide through the water and slide over the ice.

Sebastien was joined on his journey by Anne-Lise Vacher-Morazzani, who was in charge of construction on the Babouche, as well as crew member Eric André as they set sail to challenge the North West passage. Their expedition began in Vancouver and from there went to Anchorage, Alaska, North through the Bearing Strait, past Cape Barrow and the North-West territories. From there, it was tricky sailing through the Passage, finally ending, 3 months, 21 days after the had started, in Greenland.

You can read more about the expedition at the official website, which offers more details about the entire trip, in which the crew faced bad weather, floating ice, and polar bears, to become the first to sail the North West Passage. Just think about all the other sailors who have tried to accomplish that for hundreds of years prior. Well done!

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