Blue Planet Odyssey - Northwest Passage gate opens

Drina at anchor in Graham Harbour, Devon Island
Cornell Sailing Events
31 August was exactly three months since Aventura left London bound for Arctic Canada and the Northwest Passage. Since then we have covered over 6000 miles and are now bound for St Johns in Newfoundland, having decided to abandon our attempt to transit the Northwest Passage due to persistent unfavourable ice conditions.

Michael Thurston and Emily Penn - 2014 Blue Planet Odyssey
Cornell Sailing Events
By a happy coincidence today we received a message from Australian yacht Drina that they had successfully transited Bellot Strait. This is excellent news for the Blue Planet Odyssey as Drina’s owner Michael Thurston had agreed to take over the Blue Planet Odyssey baton when Suilven and Aventura decided to turn around.

In the last 48 hours there has been a steady traffic through Bellot Strait by both eastbound and westbound boats.

With the exception of Peel Sound, which is still blocked by ice, the eastern area of the Northwest Passage has finally opened, making it possible for westbound boats to proceed towards Gjoa Haven.

Both Suilven and Aventura had attempted to transit the Northwest Passage along the Northern Route of the Blue Planet Odyssey. The stated aim of this round the world rally is to raise awareness of climate change. Albeit late, the opening of the Northwest Passage does prove that climate change is happening, as this phenomenon and the steady shrinking of the Arctic polar ice cap are indicators that the global climate is changing.

Cornell Sailing
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