Jump to content

Transiting Simpson Strait - advice needed


Recommended Posts

Between King William Island to the North, and the Adelaide Peninsula on the Canadian mainland to the south.  The shortest route to the hamlet of Gjoa Haven, the tiny community where Norwegian Polar explorer Roald Amundsen’s wintered over his boat, “Gjoa”, in 1903 while attempting to transit the Northwest Passage.

Simpson Strait is rock strewn.  Strong currents shift the seabed, making depths uncertain.  It’s in the Arctic, where weather is harsh and fickle.  The Strait also has deep historical significance, nearby being the site of the wrecks of the famous British ships, “Erebus” and “Terror”, which vanished without a trace in 1848 during the Franklin Expedition to Traverse the Northwest Passage (and were located, largely intact, about 5 years ago in a huge underwater archaeological find).

Are you hooked yet?  Some cool pandemic videos to watch - if you happen to be stuck at home and not sailing.

Arctic Haulers (CBC TV series on life in the far north) - you think you’re isolated! How about a once-yearly supply ship...

Interactive advise-the-captain feature: Captain Duplain and the crew of the Sedna must navigate the notorious Simpson Strait - a shallow passage that starts where Sir John Franklin's failed Arctic expedition ended

 

 

EFE854A1-BB28-471E-B034-C926628550EA.jpeg

7F04BC3B-07B8-4500-9A56-579F33B6371B.jpeg

535AF72E-9E9D-4E44-A3D2-82F56BDEFC95.jpeg

Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, Ishmael said:

Yeah, that looks like a lot of fun.

nav.thumb.jpg.580dff970290778e5fea97ca84a0efc7.jpg

I’m blown away that there actually nav aids way up there - obviously maintained at great expense!  And obviously few and far between, just in the few “shipping lanes” that ships must take. 

I was somewhat blown away to learn (in one of the High Arctic Haulers vids I posted), that thousands of people now visit remote Gjoa Haven annually (b/c of the Parks Canada sites where the Terror and Erebus wrecks are).  At least one very large cruise ships goes all the way up there yearly.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I read "Erebus" by Michael Palin a few weeks ago. Don't go near the fucking place.

Since then, I read "The North Water" a novel by Ian McGuire about an English whaler in 1859 in the waters near Greenland. Violent and menacing. Don't go there either. 

Promise me.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, Bull City said:

I read "Erebus" by Michael Palin a few weeks ago. Don't go near the fucking place.

Since then, I read "The North Water" a novel by Ian McGuire about an English whaler in 1859 in the waters near Greenland. Violent and menacing. Don't go there either. 

Promise me.

It’s one of the most beautiful places on the planet...hell, yeah, I wanna go there. :-)

The Serengeti of the Arctic - huge number of beluga, narwhale, polar bears, whales, birds...

Serengeti of the Arctic

Link to post
Share on other sites

Worked all along this coast in the 1980s, supplying arctic oil and gas exploration companies.  Beautiful area, lots to see, but very unforgiving.

Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, usedtobeoldestsailor said:

Worked all along this coast in the 1980s, supplying arctic oil and gas exploration companies.  Beautiful area, lots to see, but very unforgiving.

Supplying Kulluk & Molikpaq or the drillships?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Worked for private contractor from Calgary, mostly supplying fuel and supplies to seismic cat trains of many companies taking advantage of the Pip grants available then.  (petroleum incentive grants).  Twin otters on extra large tires.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The Twin Otter is an amazing airplane and is in its element working in the arctic.  I spent a number of very interesting hours around the arctic islands but never got close to Simpson Straight.  One day we were flying the CCG icebreaker captain around east of Byam Martin Island and discovered a shoal which was not on any of the charts.  I would be very careful sailing around there.  I have read too many books which are quite good at explaining the risks in the arctic.  Most of those dangers are still there.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...