A miracle is not going to happen! Despite our determination and the meticulous organisation put in place in conjunction with the French cruise ship operator Ponant to retrieve my Solarboat, we were not able to reach her.
In early September, due to exceptional amounts of ice for the season making navigation too perilous, Canadian authorities asked all boats headed towards the Northwest Passage to turn around. As a result, I was unable to climb aboard Soléal—instead I was stuck on land, feeling helpless and very disappointed about how the situation turned out. As there was nothing more that could be done on the scene, I had to return to Brittany empty-handed. We gave it our best shot, the Ponant team and I thought we could do it right up to the last minute but Mother Nature decided otherwise and in the end had the last word once again…
As I was in the Arctic this summer, I was able to see what was going on. In the course of my discussions with the Inuit I ran into along the way, I learned that they were worried about the very unusual weather for the season. Ubiquitous ice at the height of summer, violent storms that had not stopped blowing across the tundra since spring thus intensifying the already alarming erosion, the absence of belugas—an important source of food for coastal communities—yes, Mother Nature has been speaking loud and clear and is now actually screaming in my opinion.
As regards the boat, it will be difficult to retrieve it now as the Arctic winter slowly rolls in but I’m actively looking for a backup plan and I hope to find a solution in the coming months.