Arctic Row Update: Slow Progress Across The Arctic Ocean


The Arctic Row 2012 expedition has now been underway for just over a week and the team continues to make slow, but steady progress – that is when the weather allows. After setting off last Tuesday, the four men aboard the small rowboat have had their ups and downs as they struggle to find their rhythm, but it seems they remain in good spirits and committed to achieving their goal of rowing across the Arctic Ocean.

As you no doubt recall, Paul Ridley, Collin West, Neal Mueller and Scott Mortensen are attempting to row from Inuvik, Canada to Provideniya, Russia, a distance of 2100km (1300 miles). They had planned for the entire journey to take approximately 30 days, as they are rowing 24-hours per day in two hour, two-man shifts. But already in the first week they’ve had to spend some time on anchor as rough seas and high winds have made progress impossible. Still, their home team reports that they are making the most out of the experience and have enjoyed the expedition thus far.

According to their latest blog update the boys are just now starting to encounter ice. They’ve come across absolutely massive icebergs that are easily spotted from a distance and they’ve only seen smaller ones that have broken off from the bigger ones so far. As they progress further along in the expedition they expect to encounter more ice in general, which could slow progress at times too, but for now things are good.

The team’s SPOT device hasn’t been providing accurate tracking of their progress, so it’s difficult to tell how much ground they’ve covered. Reading through the reports, I’d guess that they aren’t on their intended schedule however, so it is already starting to look like the could go past their 30 day window. Of course, they could make up time if the weather cooperates, but we’ll just have to wait to see how things unfold.

Either way, they team is just getting started and there is still a lot of rowing to go.

Kraig Becker