Yesterday (Monday 12th Sept) the Polar Ocean Challenge successfully completed their quest to sail the North East Passage and North West Passage in one season.
The North West Passage was completed in an astonishing 14 days due to the fact that it was almost totally ice free and the exit from Canada’s Lancaster Sound signalled the successful navigation of both sea routes. The crew encountered ice only twice in their 1800 mile NW Passage part of the voyage. This highlights an extraordinary loss of sea ice in the Arctic in the 30 years that WWW founder David Hempleman-Adams has been going to the area. He said, “Whilst we are all delighted to have succeeded, it is extremely worrying to see this lack of ice so starkly”.
Huge congratulations to them for completing their mission, and raising awareness of climate change. The crew set some noticeable firsts:
– Northabout is the first British boat to complete a circumnavigation of the North Pole anti-clockwise in one season
– Nikolay Litau is the first Skipper in the world to complete both Passages twice
– Barbara Fitzpatrick is the first Irish female to complete both Passages in one season
– David and Ben are the first Brits to complete both Passages in one season
– Constance Difede is the first American female to complete both Passages in one season
– Ben Edwards, WWW Youth Ambassador, is the youngest person at 14 years old to complete both passages!!