Gambo at 80 degrees N

Gambo has surpassed 80 N having set up a depot for the still delayed helicopter mission. Whilst returning south, the crew will carry out oceanographic measurements in the area that follow on what we did last year with Arctic Sunrise. The ice conditions are not easy for them. The surface is freezing at times. The crew is eager to return south from this exposed position…

The MODIS image Gambo used most recently. The image has been compressed so it could be downloaded by the boat’s Iridium link.

email from Gambo crew morning of 1 Sept, 2010…

from Richard… across Kane Basin in front of Humboldt was passable although a lot of weaving was required at times.  During the last 24hrs the wind dropped significantly which helped not move things about.  If winds picks up the situation could get a lot more difficult. From here the passage to the west towards Kennedy channel looks not too bad close to the shore however the main channel is certainly a lot more clogged up.  This was particularly so for the start when we came around Cape Alexander and Etah.  We could go out this way and have a look but I am not sure of the scientific merit in trying to push north.  Yes, we could drop some CTD in the middle of the channel and that might show water temps of interest but without a complete cross section, I wonder what could be done with the data.  If we made it up to the Petermann ice island, we could photograph it but I wonder from the view point of Gambo what another bit of rotten ice would really say. From here East the passage looks okay and we might negotiate it to Humboldt glacier front.  However, we certainly could not make a transect back south close in to the glacier. To return [south], we would re-trace as best passage as we might find across the Bay and there is the possibility of cutting out 2/3 of the way south to try and head for the south side of Humboldt where we did most of our measurements last year.

Skip Nowak [Nolwenn] here, As Richard told nicely, we got lucky so far and we enjoy the passage although it was hard some time and exposed if any floes started to move. On the MODIS image, the ’empty’ area are still pretty full even if we can find a passage in zigzag on it. I will say to don’t push the chance too far. The sea water is already starting to freeze at some point, and I am not sure I want to see how thick Gambo can pass through. So I do not want to hang on here any more than an other hour or/go any further north. For the ocean sciences I agree with Richard, and will see what we can do, but don’t expect much. Otherwise moral is good, will be much more un-stressed when I will be back 100NM souther than here, even if I am really enjoying the sailing on sea ice!

Hi guys, it’s Tom. Great to be here, very exciting to be in such a wild place! We’ll all be happier when we’re back in the open water of Baffin Bay I think. A pleasure to sail with Gambo though, thanks for having me along!

Hi, Christine here…what a spectacular trip! Today was particularly interesting sailing through the sea ice, if pretty hair raising at times. We’ve all commented that we didn’t think we would even make it this far and it seemed touch and go at some points passing through the thicker ice. I’m also of the opinion that we have had great luck so far but we should quit while we are ahead and get south as fast as possible. It looks like ice conditions can change pretty quickly round here and we saw quite a lot of fresh surface ice forming today…if we had a couple of cold nights, Gambo could get into quite a bit of trouble. However, I’m really excited that we have made it this far and have helped out the helicopter operation. Anyway, thanks Alun for persuading me to come up North after the field season…I have had an amazing time so far…what an experience!

Hi, it`s Max, i will not write a roman…I`m not good at that!!!  We`ve done a really good trip to this place and the team is perfect ! And for the next event, The more quickly we will leave this Kane Basin, the more happy i will be… It`s a kind of big trap here. But i hope you will do good work here, and i wish you. See you soon.