Around The Americas Update: The Northwest Passage!

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When last we checked in on the Intrepid crew of the Ocean Watch, they had made it to Barrow, Alaska, where they were taking on supplies and a new crew member. Now, a few weeks later they’ve set sail once again, as they head into one of the more perilous sections of their journey.

As you probably recall, the Around The Americas team is attempting to become the first to circumnavigate North and South America. To achieve this goal, they’ll need to sail through the legendary Northwest Passage, a route that only opens in the dead of summer, when the arctic ice melts away, and provides a channel between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans north of Canada. As the ship slips away from Barrow, they’ll now begin the challenging navigation required to see them safely through to the Atlantic side.

Thanks to global climate change, the Northwest Passage has become a reality in recent years, which gave rise to the idea of this expedition. All told, the journey should take roughly 13 months to complete, returning to Seattle, where the ship set out, next summer. Following the voyage through the Passage, they’ll sail down the East Coast of North America, all the way south to the tip of South America, rounding Cape Horn, and turning north for home at last. Along the way, they’ll take various scientific readings to measure the effects of climate change in the various waters they’ll be passing through.

The crew’s most recent blog posts include a note on leaving Barrow behind and a report from Zeta Strickland, about her first few days aboard ship. Zeta is an educator who joined the crew in Barrow and will continue with them to Boston, where she’ll return home. Along the way, she’ll be sharing her experiences at sea and traveling through the Northwest Passage.

Good luck to the crew as they sail those crazy waters. If you see something big and white in your way, turn!

Kraig Becker

3 thoughts on “Around The Americas Update: The Northwest Passage!”

  1. Ocean watch is currently in Cambridge Bay — 1/2 way thru the passage.

    Check out for the boat's current location and log. Great images and good read — close to being onboard the vessel experiencing the crew's day-to-day activities and observations.

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