“The ship never came close to entering the NW Passage this year,” reader P Salmon points out. “It grounded about 250 miles south of the Bellot Strait on the east side of the peninsula.”
(We’re talking about the passengers aboard the grounded Arctic “cruise ship” that had to be flown back south, the ice-class research vessel Akademik Ioffe. It wasn’t exactly a “cruise ship.” See below.)
“This ship was on the other side of the the peninsula from the Northwest Passage, 165 miles straight line west of Gjoa Haven,” says Salmon. “They were in an area that is always ice free in Summer. The icebreakers are the only CCG vessels there and their diversion puts others at risk. Best line from the article…”Canada’s Arctic seas remain poorly charted.” And yet the NY Times and Guardian continue to spew North Pole shipping route stories.
About the Northwest Passage Project, as presented on their website:
Commencing in August 2018, the Northwest Passage Project will embark on a 22-day expedition into the Passage aboard the state-of-art, ice-class research vessel Akademik Ioffe. Departing from Resolute Bay then traveling south and west to Cambridge Bay via Bellot Strait, the Akademik Ioffe will return to Lancaster Sound and Pond Inlet before traveling down the east side of Baffin Island, with several stops along the way.
The Northwest Passage Project is a collaborative effort between the University of Rhode Island (URI), Inner Space Center (ISC), and the Graduate School of Oceanography (GSO), the film company, David Clark, Inc., and several other collaborators, including five U.S. universities that are classified as Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs).
Along with the ship’s crew, there will be scientists, education professionals, and students sailing through the Northwest Passage. During the expedition, there will be 15 undergraduate students aboard. The students will receive science instruction as the ship is underway, participate in live broadcasts from sea, and work alongside ocean scientists as they conduct Arctic research.
With all those scientists and education professionals aboard, this does not exactly match my version of a “cruise ship.”
And being rescued by icebreakers – in August! – probably wasn’t on their list of expected outcomes.
You can see where the Akademik Ioffe was headed originally here:
Thanks to P Salmon