By R. Michael Brown, Civic Association Communication Director -- Alex & Renate Dreyfoos are on a voyage through the Northwest Passage aboard their yacht Silver Cloud. The Civic Association is following their trip and will post updates and their photo gallery here. Mr. Dreyfoos is a Civic Association Director.
The Northwest Passage is a sea route that connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans through the Canadian Arctic Archipelago (see maps below). In the past, the Northwest Passage has been virtually impassable because it was covered by thick, year-round sea ice. However, in the past few years, climate change is allowing commercial traffic to pass through the Arctic Ocean via this once-impossible route.
The distance from Greenland to Alaska is 6,215 miles (10,000 kilometers). The Finnish icebreaker MSV Nordica just set a new record, sailing through the Northwest Passage above North America earlier than ever before. It took 24 days at sea, arriving on July 29.
I'm sure Mr. and Mrs. Dreyfoos will be going at a more llesurely pace, enjoying the photo opportunities along the way.
From Alex Dreyfoos:
Ships Log Wednesday, August 14, 2017
For several years there had been lessening ice blockage at Larsen Sound in the Northwest Passage, and in 2014, 2015 and 2016 the Passage became completely free of ice.
This year Mother Nature is proving once again her unpredictability, and will not be making the Passage ice-free.
Ice breakers can make the Passage and ships with ice class (able to deal with the large blocks of ice left in their wake) can follow, but neither our ice pilot (or our insurance company) will approve Silver Cloud for playing that game.
So, Mother Nature will have her way, and we will soon be heading back to Halifax and Palm Beach.
The chart tells the story in more detail. We were fine traveling from Greenland to Pond Inlet (right side of chart) and Crocker Bay (above). However, ice (percentage shown by different colors) dominates our proposed path through Larsen Sound.
Those of you who have been following our track deserve an explanation for our recent back and forth path. Once we learned that we could not complete the Passage, we turned our attention to optimizing the photographic opportunities, i.e. taking pictures of this region’s big three: the polar bear, the walrus and the narwhal whale.
We were told that this region had the best photo-ops. The pickings have been slim: two polar bear sightings, one sighting of a walrus and her pup, and no narwhal sightings to date.
We will continue to look for good photo-ops as we head home, and will upload to Dropbox the best of what we come across.
Renate and I wish you a great rest of the summer, and look forward to seeing many of you later in the year.
Renate and Alex
Ships Log Wednesday, July 26, 2017
After spending a week at Halifax’s festive Waterfront Boardwalk, completing details for the Northwest Passage, Silver Cloud entered the Labrador Sea yesterday. We expect to arrive in Narsarsuaq, Greenland - Erik the Red’s alleged landing site - about noon on Thursday.
Since leaving Halifax, we have seen no passenger vessels, only a few freighters and some fishing boats. A couple of whales have been sighted at a distance as well as a few puffins, but none close enough to provide good photo-ops. Seas have ranged from rough (but not severe) to calm. The outdoor temperature at 10:00 this morning was 48 degrees F, but the wind chill made it feel considerably colder.
We saw our first icebergs over a several hour stint while in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. We don’t expect to see any more until we are closer to Greenland.
Ships Log Thursday, July 13, 2017
Yesterday morning Renate and I departed Palm Beach aboard Silver Cloud to make the Northwest Passage. We are hoping for some great photo ops.
Our first port of call will be Halifax where we pick up our ice pilot and experienced father and son guides. We then head to Nuuk, Greenland to explore their southwest coast fjords, before winding our way through the infamous Northwest Passage, now made safe as a result of global warming.
The passage itself ends at Nome, Alaska, which leaves us with the long journey of returning to Palm Beach via the Panama Canal, completing in the longer run, the circumnavigation of North America.
Alex Dreyfoos in the Master Stateroom [file photo]
Lastly, wearing my hat as a fundraiser for both the Kravis Center and the Cultural Council, for those of you who have asked for information about obtaining my two books: A Photographic Odyssey, Around the World with Alexander W. Dreyfoos (a cocktail table size book with about 600 images that I have taken over 60 years from more than 60 countries) and my biography: Passion & Purpose.
They are both available at the Kravis Center and Cultural Council gift shops and now at Amazon (most easily found by searching for Dreyfoos.) The Kravis Center and Cultural Council receive 100% of the proceeds.
Renate and I wish all of you a wonderful summer.
Above: Actual Track of the Voyage of Silver Cloud 8/1/2017
Photos Below Used by Permission: © Copyright 2017 All images by Alex Dreyfoos and Renate Dreyfoos
Alex & Renate Dreyfoos Northwest Passage
Greenlander in native dress
Local art depicting Erik theRed and his wife
Our Halifax pilot boat
Narsarssuak Air Base
Replica of Greenlandic wilderness food storage
Pratt Whitney R2000 Twin Wasp radial engine
Silver Cloud in Nuuk Greenland
Navy hovering excercise CH 124 Sea King
Peggy's Cove Halifax
Lt. Dreyfoos refueled at Narsarsuaq USAF airbase left in 1954 on the way to duty in Germany
Halifax pilot departing
Inner harbor Nuuk Greenland
Erik the Red alleged circa 900 Greenland settlement remains
Icebreaker Nordica in Nuuk
Nuuk Parliment building and church
Silver Cloud crew except for Captain Steve who was at the helm
Erik the Red circa clothing
Theodore Too Halifax Harbor tour boat
Silver Cloud in Halifax
Loom Erik the Red era
Halifax Harbor lighthouse
Remains from Narsarsuaq calving glacier
Silver Cloud in Nuuk Greenland
Iceberg in Gulf of St. Lawrence
Erik the Red facing his homeland
1st Iceberg in Gulf of St. Lawrence
Greenlandic Inuit mumies cira 1400
Silver Cloud in Nuuk Greenland
Statue of Hans Egede Nuuk
HMCS Montreal is a Halifax class frigate
Entering Halifax Harbor