Good Speed in the Arctic

The Arctic Joule has had a good day. They actually hit more than 7kph in the last day, a first for the trip. Click to enlarge the chart below:
Data on the Arctic Joule trip

They’re going south at that high speed (so to speak), and they are actually closer to their starting point in Inuvik than they were 24 hours ago. As a result, they’re stretching out the trip. I came up with a “veer ratio” which involves the planned route of 3000km, the great circle distance of 2045km, and the trip’s likely 3500km if they keep up this sort of coast hugging. I tweaked it a bit trying to be as fair as possible, but being trapped along the coast is costing them in terms of predicted arrival date.

It has got to be frustrating for them. The speed must feel good, after so many days of adverse wind. But they’ve now gone to ground it seems (as of early Thursday July 25) and have pulled into the coast, perhaps to wait out another blow. Right up until that time, their speeds were the best of the trip. Yesterday they were just over 15% complete. Today, just under. So they are moving quickly, but it seems unfortunately evident that they are bound to coastlines and not able (at this time) to challenge the open water of the Beaufort Sea. That will add a lot to their time, even if they are able to make good speed.

There is good news: Their planned route is more or less along the coast anyway, so as they veer toward the east they will make progress, especially if they can have more fast days like the last one.

I just made more data columns visible, did some other tweaks, and reposted the spreadsheet above. It’s interesting to see how the arrival date prediction waxes and wanes.

===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

  • Yes,. there have been some curiosities between what they say they are experiencing versus what the track shows. I don’t think it’s dishonesty at all, though, more of an effect of the difference between when something happens and when they get a chance to write about it.

    Interesting that there are now four separate attempts going on up there right now, between MLF, Charles Hedrich, Reve de Glace, and the new Beyond the Circle kayakers. One of those is right behind MLF, within 50km.

    ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

  • David

    Keith, S. Goddard said he thouth that last row was against the wind, so he was puzzled by it?