Happy Birthday

AGXLouise1

Happy Weblog Birthday Louise

In all the excitement of reading weather and ice maps we nearly missed an important birthday. The AGX weblog has been running for one year. It has allowed Louise to post news of Adrian’s progress quickly and easily and we even got Adrian to send photographs via his satphone. It has expanded the readership with many readers setting up their own RSS feeds. So its Happy Birthday wishes to the AGX readers, Louise, Alpha Global Expedition, the FIRE Project team and all those who have contributed to the project during the last twelve months. It is almost two years since Adrian sailed out of the Solent and into history, but this weblog anniversary comes at the most critical stage of the voyage, after a chain of sailing achievements.

Editor

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Show Me The Way To Go Home

AGXice3008

The ice map as at 22:00 hrs Zulu Aug 30 shows Adrian’s challenge. The Ice Queen’s cold finger is still touching the North Russian coast at one point and that point lies between Adrian and home. It is almost exactly half way along the Russian Northern Sea Route and Barrabas is now at anchor close to the choke point, ready to sail the moment the wind changes and the ice starts to break up. This is the critical point in the voyage. To the South and East of Adrian’s current position lies the port of Tiksi. Tied up in the port are three vessels that hope to pass through the choke point. One is a fully crewed larger yacht that has been imprisoned by conditions for two winters.

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AGX Position and Status Report

AGXPosition3108

To: Western Arctic Marine Operations HQ

Subject: Barrabas

Position Report:

31st August 0737 UCT

Anchored at Ostrov Preobrazheniya : 74.40 N 112.55 E

Barometric Pressure: 1021
Sea Temperature: 4 deg C
Wind: NE 12 knots
Ice: None

Regards

Adrian Flanagan

Can you please send me information about winds around Mys Cheluskina as well
as wind information for my location at Ostrov Preobrazheniya each day so
that I know what is happening with the ice further north. With thanks,
Adrian Flanagan.

 

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AGX Position and Status

AGXArcticMapPlannedCourse1508

To: Western Arctic Marine Operations HQ
Cc: Russian Ice Breaker; Russian Ice Breaker (MSCO)

Subject: Barrabas

Duty Office – West Marine Ops

Position report from sailing yacht Barrabas

23rd Aug 1138 UCT

Position Anchored at Peschanyy Island 74.20 N
116.10 E

Barometric Pressure 1010
Sea Temperature 3.5 degrees C
Wind SSW 15 knots
Sea State Smooth
Wave height 0-1 foot
Ice Drift ice

Regards,

Adrian Flanagan

Western Arctic Marine Operations HQ have advised Adrian to keep careful watch for polar bears hunting the walrus on Peschanyy Island

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Ostrov Peschanyy

AGXmapOstrovP

Ostrov Peschanyy must be one of the bleakest and least inviting islands anywhere in the world. Adrian has described it as little more than a sand spit. It has a curious configuration that resembles the remains of an extinct volcano. The West side of the ovoid is a solid curved sand bar. To the East is a curving line of sand, pierced in places, creating a shallow lagoon that is the broad centre of the island. At the heighest points, the sand is little more than two metres above high water. This remote island provides very little shelter even for a small yacht, the seabed shoaling away so that even a third of a mile offshore the depth is only around five metres.

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AGX Position and Status Report

AGXgetmap2008

To: Western Arctic Marine Operations HQ
Cc: Russian Ice Breaker; Russian Ice Breaker (MSCO)

Subject: Barrabas

Duty Office – West Marine Ops

Position report from sailing yacht Barrabas

18th Aug 1340 UCT

Position 74.21 N 116.01 E
Speed Anchored

Barometric Pressure 1016
Sea Temperature 3.5 degrees C
Wind SE 10 knots
Sea State Smooth
Wave height 0-1 foot
Ice Drift ice

Regards,

Adrian Flanagan

Editor’s Note:

Although Barrabas is at anchor, this is not a period of rest. The anchor has been dragging and it is necessary to move position and re-anchor as the wind moves. The added risk is from drift ice which is being blown past Barrabas’ position in some quantity. These ice fragments are large enough to damage the sloop – see below photo of an ice flow (taken by Adrian) with group of walrus resting on it.

There are limited choices. Current conditions do not encourage Adrian to hold under sail while he waits for the ice edge to receed and for the pack ice to break up. He could cruise in a circle under engine power but this will reduce his fuel supplies which may be needed later and which are also used by the heating system onboard. That only leaves the choice of anchoring and remaining vigilant. At the same time Adrian has to review the ice condition constantly and be ready to leave immediately that a viable lead opens.

AGX Position and Status Report

AGX17getmap

To: Western Arctic Marine Operations HQ
Cc: Russian Ice Breaker; Russian Ice Breaker (MSCO)

Subject: Barrabas

Duty Office – West Marine Ops

Position report from sailing yacht Barrabas

17th Aug 0504 UCT

Position 74.32 N 117.28 E
Speed 1.5 knots
Course 315
Proceeding under sail

Barometric Pressure 1022
Sea Temperature 3.5 degrees C
Wind SSW 10 knots
Sea State Smooth
Wave height 0-1 foot
Ice No ice

Regards,

Adrian Flanagan

NOTE:
I am sailing under reduced canvas to slow boat speed to stay in this area.

AGX Position and Status Report

AGXgetmap

To: Western Arctic Marine Operations HQ
Cc: Russian Ice Breaker; Russian Ice Breaker (MSCO)

Subject: Barrabas

Duty Office – West Marine Ops

Position report from sailing yacht Barrabas

16th Aug 0731 UCT

Position 74.16 N 118.28 E
Speed 3.0 knots
Course 280
Proceeding under sail

Barometric Pressure 1017
Sea Temperature 6.0 degrees C
Wind N 10 knots
Sea State Smooth
Wave height 1-2 foot
Ice No ice

Regards,

Adrian Flanagan

NOTE:

1) During the last 12 hours winds WNW 27 knots

2) Ostrov Lekina is NOT at the charted position

3) I am making for Ostrov Peschanyy. There are no suitable anchorages in Anabarskiy Zaliv

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