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The frozen ocean

Update: 7/9/2017

Oh, my Darwin last week we received a call from North Sailing, the folks conducting our sailing tour of Greenland. They suggested that there had been so much ice-melt this year that we might not be able to get into the Scoresby Sound as planned, due to ice blocking our path. We were all disappointed with this news.

This prompted me to collect satellite images of Greenland to monitor the progress of the ice. Here is what I have collected, so far, of the ice-melt at Greenland this year:

In May there was a slow start to the melt season. However, in June the ice began to retreat at a faster than average rate. On July 2, Arctic sea ice extent was at the same level recorded in 2012. In September 2012, the sea ice extent reached its lowest in the satellite record.

As you can see from the ice-flow around Greenland, it does seem to be retreating. But, our problem got worse when I found another satellite image of the Scoresby Sound. I discovered that the entrance to the Sound was blocked with a large plug of ice. The plug is breaking up, but whether it will have cleared, in time for our trip, is up to Odin, or Darwin, or the god of randomness.

Update: 7/13/2017

Scoresby Sound same time last year

The polar winds blow, the Atlantic Ocean swells, and Greenland continues to shed more ice than it has in recorded history. Add a late burst of wintry weather this year and we continue to wait for the ice to clear.

We are uncertain if our planned expedition to the polar regions will proceed. Wooden boats and pack-ice are not the best of friends. Safety is paramount, but after planning an expedition for so long (over a year now) it is heartbreaking to think we might not be able to go.

The go/no-go decision will be made on Friday or Saturday. We hope for the best and struggle to remain optimistic.


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