Thursday, February 17, 2011

Arctic expedition round the North Pole, through both the Northeast Passage and the Northwest Passage with RX2

In 2009 / 2010 Captain and Expedition leader Trond Aasvoll, fireman and Explorer Hans Fredrik Hauklandand student in Natural Science and Marine Biology Finn Andreassen, completed an expedition round The North Pole.
Picture: Finn Andreassen, Trond Aasvoll and Hans Fredrik Haukland, at Drovyanoy Point, 78N. Northeast Passage.
When they left the town of Vardø in northern part of Norway on July 28Th 2009, their goal was to be the first expedition ever to circumnavigate the North Pole in one season, and thereby show that the affects of global warming in the Arctic had made this possible. Due to lack of communication within the Russian bureaucracy (3 weeks), the voyage was delayed to the extent that circumnavigation within one season was impossible. Clearly their project could have been successful without such delay, since the ice and whether conditions where favorable already in the 2009 season.It was the same three Norwegian crew of the expedisionen around the north pole  and "RX2" is built in fiberglass.

As far west as the Ostrova Mona Island, they met the first ice with seals and Polar Bears. This ice was only1-3 years old, but the Polar Bears seemed to be in good condition. Between Norway and Novaya Zemlya and in The Bearing Sea, they could see many whales and an impressive amount of seabirds. At the area Cap Chelyskin they encountered multi ice.
However, In the Northwest Passage, they experienced much less ice. The only multi ice they encountered here was in Lancaster Sound. Due to lack of ice they found the Northwest Passage to be very poor of marine life. In fact most the waters there seemed to be completely without any visible marine life at all.


Left: Fork boom from the whaling ship "Triton" that sunk at Pauline Cove. Right: The remains of Amundsen?s other Polar ship ?Maud? located in Cambridge Bay.
The RX2 expedition followed very much the same route as Amundsen?s Gjøa expedition, only the reverse way. They visited Pauline Cove on Herschel Island, nearby King Point, Where Amundsen wintered in 1905. At the time this was a major whaling station with 1,500 residents. Like The Gjøa Expedition, RX2 also visited Booth Island and Cambridge Bay.

 Picture: One of several examples of accelerated global warming. A large river flowing on top of this glacier in Lancaster Sound

August 28th. 2010 The RX2 Expedition exited Lancaster Sound, and thereby completing The Northwest Passage. One month later, they reached the shores of southern Norway, fully completing their circum navigation of the North Pole.

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