Centerboard Overboard, Bailing Out

The voyage of the Arctic Joule will come to an end in the next few days, just shy of the halfway mark. I can’t blame the fellows: It’s been quite a difficult run for them as a result of adverse winds and a boat design not quite appropriate for the attempt.  (Too much wind area; they were effectively rendered impotent by any headwind at all.)

But I am a bit annoyed at their “ground crew” — the person(s) running their FaceBook page. On that site, the people keenly following along have been strung along, apparently for ten days, while the moderator knew for at least most of that time that they crew were planning to quit.  An article appeared at the Irish Times website Thursday 8/23, and concludes:

However, we will not make it to Pond Inlet. Though the reasons are beyond our control, it still hurts.

As I write, we are 550km from Cambridge Bay, which is only our halfway mark, and it could be the end of August before we get there. If so, this is where our expedition will finish.We are still giving this everything we have but it has been a difficult week.

That distance, 550km from Cambridge Bay, puts them back toward the beginning of the Dolphin and Union Strait. And I remember when they grounded in a small cove there to wait out the wind. This was apparently when they damaged their retractable centerboard, as described in the article.

There are several curious things about this article, which leads me to speculation:

  • It is written in the normal style of their blog posts, not their “interview from the boat” style.
  • It was written approximately ten days ago.
  • All text traffic from the boat apparently goes through the FaceBook moderater(s), at least one of whom is policing the site from her location in Vancouver.
  • It typically takes a day or two for a blog post to appear (i.e., the post can be tracked to events two days prior).

From this, I expect that it’s likely that (1) the moderator knew that the Arctic Joule crew was going to quit for at least a week, (2) did not post the blog entry explaining why, and (3) did not mention it on the site.

Even  now, when another commenter referred to it, the moderator(s) have said nothing. And after many hours, no comments on that mention have survived.  (Just as comments wondering what happened to me are quickly deleted.)

Why not tell the people following the Arctic Joule what happened?  Why leave them to find out in an overseas newspaper? And in fact it still hasn’t been officially mentioned on the FaceBook page, nor is there a link to the article.  I think that the moderator is playing fast and loose with her role, and I doubt that the Arctic Joule crew is even aware of this.

In the meantime, they had another excellent day, rowing like mad and (were they planning to finish) shaving another day off their arrival time.  Yes, there’s ice ahead, but I must admire their efforts, especially under the circumstances.

I’ve updated the charts, but it seems less crucial now.

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

  • Ah — and their water supply has become contaminated, and they are “now” looking for water on the shore.

    It’s hard to say when this was written, as they are actually crossing an open stretch at the moment.

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

  • I just put up a post updating charts and noting that reference. Thanks!

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

  • You may find this of interest in the same vein. It’s a bit more detailed:

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

  • And this was written a day ago. I make them 90 kilometers from Cambridge Bay at the moment.

    I think that once the idea of the possibility of quitting was accepted, all moved into that mode quickly. That’s natural enough.

    So far, they’ve said nothing about trying again.

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

  • LexingtonGreen

    Well, they made a reference to quitting today. But still not openly admitting it. Odd.

    “One of the habits the late Stephen Covey speaks about in his best selling book 7 habits of highly effective people is “beginning with the end in mind”. This simple but in my opinion highly effective idea is something I use in my own life and often discuss with clients.

    After 2 days of stormy winds, we got going again today and I think we were all definitely beginning this morning with the end in mind. This has been an incredible experience so far but I know I am ready to get this done now and get to Cambridge Bay. We were chatting about this earlier today and we’re all on the same page.

    Depending on the weather, we’re anything from 2 to 5 days out. At this stage, we should know better not to try and plan how long anything up here will take but with the end so close it’s hard not to. The temperature has dropped off a bit over the last few days so a real bed, a hot shower and a warm meal sound very appealing right about now….


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  • kepler

    A timely headline.
    “The Fundamental Tenet of Progressives: Suppressing Discussion”

  • Morry Weiskop

    Ice is building up quickly between their last tracked position and Cambridge Bay. see

  • LexingtonGreen

    They are alarmist warmists. I think you are being too generous to think anyone in this crew would put out a true representation of the facts. It is all about the cause to a warmist.