While waiting for the Great North

Just to get a taste of the trip to come… These images were made during our Greenland expedition, “The Great Drift”.
(arrangements Gauthier Mesnil-Blanc).

Only time and icebergs matter

At the end of last week, I picked up my customized kayak at the Nautiraid headquarter, and there is a little left to do for my embarkation to be ready for the polar circle. a loan from . My thanks to Eric and Véronique Flambard, the company’s managers as well as the Nautiraid team for their confidence.  Beyond their seriousness, I salute their enthusiasm. Read more “Only time and icebergs matter”

Seuls le temps et la glace sont maîtres

 Glace arctique 2012/2013Time goes by as fast as sand slips through our fingers and it has been more than a month since I wrote my last post. Not that I sat around watching the tide roll away, but to be honest, my computer stayed disconnected most of the summer. I took full advantage of the great weather we had along the coast of Brittany and spent hours on the water testing some pieces of equipment I had just received.

Although away from the virtual world, I followed with great interest some expeditions in the Arctic region : “La Voie du Pôle”, “Rêve de Glace” and some others who cast off for adventure in the Far North. But this year, all Arctic voyages turned to be a bit of a nightmare.

Whereas in France, July and August were extremely hot with a number of high temperature records broken, it was not so north of the 70th parallel where the ice did not melt unlike seen in recent years.

Some scientists argue that this phenomenon is due to natural variability and some changes in climate regulations, when some others already claim Global Cooling is on its way.
Whatever the situation really is, for those who were travelling throughout the Northwest Passage or sailing across the Arctic Ocean, the sentence has been quite harsh: game over!

When one knows the energy it takes to set up a project, finding funding, bringing together various partners and training hard, being on the start line is already an achievement in itself! I believe the final assessment tastes all the more bitter for most of them.

For whom the bell tolls?

The story didn’t make it to Page 1, but it was important.  Gazprom, the largest natural gas extractor, announced that its liquid gas transporter, the Ob River, leased to a Russian consortium, had successfully completed a voyage between Europe and Asia, through the Northeast Passage.  It’s therefore the first delivery of liquid natural gas via this route, in the dead of winter.  This initiative gives perspective to the development of commercial maritime traffic, north of Siberia, all year long. Up till now, this traffic was limited during the summer. Read more “For whom the bell tolls?”

Imagined to resist to icebergs

The Great Narak is in the hands of Gérard, the Nautiraid Supervisor for the past 30 years and it’s under his craftsmanship that the Kayak is slowly changing into an “off-road vehicle” fully equipped to fight the ice. An ergonomic seat, an improved rudder control, a reinforced rudder, the installation of improved deck supports as well as the installation of clam cleats and other small changes were essential.  Now completed,   I’m still land bound but considering it’s for a good cause, I’ll suffer patiently ! Read more “Imagined to resist to icebergs”