Extremely belatedly I’ve just discovered that many weeks ago Sébastien Roubinet set out on another expedition to cross the Arctic Ocean in an ice skating catamaran, now christened Babouch-ty. Seb has already led several similar expeditions in the high Arctic, and on this occasion he is accompanied by Eric André and Jimmy Hery. They set sail from Sachs Harbour on Banks Island at the end of June, and have seen many sights since then! Here are a few of them:
Here too is a more recent image of Babouch-ty and Ellesmere Island:
The Nagalaqa tracking map shows that Babouch-ty looks set to round Cape Columbia, the northernmost point on Ellesmere Island, round about now:
The original aim of the expedition was to reach Svalbard via Cap Morris Jesup, but given the length of time it has taken the team to get this far they have sensibly decided to take an early exit from the Central Arctic via the Nares Strait:[Edit – September 26th]
Seb has decided to terminate the Nagalaqa Expedition in the Nares Strait, north of the Kane Basin:
Winds of more than 30 knots are forecast. The weather window didn’t really open. Luckily we’re not on the water, with our wobbly little boat, it would have been catastrophic… Here and now, the winds, the cold, the snow, the darkness remind us that winter is back. The Arctic requires patience, perseverance, but also a large dose of humility. We are waiting for better weather conditions so that a helicopter can take off and pick us up. In a few days, we will leave Babouch-ty, dismasted, coiled in a fold of ground and moored to bags of stones… This expedition ends here for this year.
Watch this space!
9 thoughts on “The Nagalaqa Expedition”
Seb et al. have reached Cape Columbia after going “off piste” to negotiate some tricky obstacles:
Another report by Seb from north of Ellesmere Island:
Some more spectacular images from the far north, as the Nagalaqa team see Greenland for the first time and enter the Nares Strait:
Seb reports from the Nares Strait:
Hi Jim, how’s your summer been?! Some great reporting there on the Nagalaqa expedition! Today I checked out a couple other expeditions I’d been meaning to follow, and I’m hoping you can help answer one of my questions:
A kayak expedition of the Northwest Passage going East-West in 2022, that had to break due to severe weather, and a SUP / paddleboard solo expedition going West-East in the Northwest Passage, that settled for a multi-year over-wintering in place Arctic expedition instead of a one-season thing.
Both plenty ambitious! But my question is, what are the stats for the Northwest Passage when it comes to successful crossings of a) SUPs, b) kayaks and I guess c) sailboats, catamarans, and other non-cruise ship vessels?
Especially, I guess, are there any “first” left unclaimed? For the Northwest Passage, of course, but ultimately also for the North Pole.
Thanks for your kind words!
Since you asked, summer has been very hot at times here! Also I’m very busy at present thanks to our “Indian Summer”. For example, wearing my “North Cornwall Free Press” hat I’m currently battling the powers that be at Twatter:
Hopefully (most of) your questions will be answered over on the dedicated Northwest Passage 2022 thread?
David Scott Cowper has done most things in a “small craft”, but SUP via route 1 is still on the TODO list!
That was quite the reply! And wow, you already covered the two expeditions I mentioned, and then some. Thanks a lot for the nice work.
You’re most welcome.
No more photos from Seb yet, but having been parked near the entrance to Petermann Fjord for several days Babouch-ty is on the move once again: