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  1. #41
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    East coast UK. Mostly. Sometimes the Philippines
    Posts
    9,790

    Default Re: Arctic- what 40-45' yacht?

    The Arctic Pilot is a very helpful book, as is the Mariner’s Handbook. I don’t suppose the background chapters on the flora and fauna and on survival techniques change very much over the decades. It did surprise me in one respect. It discusses the Arctic Willow at some length. I set out to find this interesting shrub expecting to see something that grew to a height of some inches, perhaps a foot or so. Then I noticed that I was standing on the plant I was looking for! Six inches is a very good height, three inches is common!

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salix_arctica

  2. #42
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Cambridge, UK
    Posts
    6,162

    Default Re: Arctic- what 40-45' yacht?

    Quote Originally Posted by Minn View Post
    The Arctic Pilot is a very helpful book, as is the Mariner’s Handbook. I don’t suppose the background chapters on the flora and fauna and on survival techniques change very much over the decades. It did surprise me in one respect. It discusses the Arctic Willow at some length. I set out to find this interesting shrub expecting to see something that grew to a height of some inches, perhaps a foot or so. Then I noticed that I was standing on the plant I was looking for! Six inches is a very good height, three inches is common!

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salix_arctica
    Yes, it's tiny! I came across it in Greenland (at Kangerlussuaq - the old Sondre Stomfjord). It isn't much in evidence in Svalbard, at least not in the areas I've been in (Billefjorden and Gronfjorden on land; I think you only get the willow in the southern parts of VestSpitzbergen). But when you realize that the stuff that's around your ankles is a tree, you realize how precarious life is in those climes.

    While in Greenland, another thing I found quite amazing was the prevalence of glacier-polished rock outcrops. Imagine rock polished like the fromt of a bank extending over tens of metres, with some deeper scrtatches showing which way the ice had moved. Something like that brings home how recently all that land was under ice - the polish is very epemeral on a geological time-scale.

  3. #43
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Sailing the Aegean
    Posts
    839

    Default Re: Arctic- what 40-45' yacht?

    Quote Originally Posted by AntarcticPilot View Post
    While I appreciate the advantages of an encapsulated keel for other reasons, it probably isn't relevant to the dangers of ice. A lump of ice deep enough to interfere with the keel of a sailing boat is big enough to be readily visible and avoidable, and it is extremely dangerous to get close to ice of that sort of size; small bergs can overturn without warning, posing serious risks to any form of construction. The reasons for preferring metal construction are resistance to constant impact with small lumps of ice - pieces less than a metre across, mainly. Anything as deep as a metre or so should be avoided like the plague, as you're probably looking at something at least as heavy as a yacht with the potential for sudden overturning. Having seen icebergs overturning, I can assure you that you don't want to be anywhere near them! This photo shows the range of things encountered
    Attachment 80351

    PS: - remember that there's a LOT more ice below the surface than above!

    PPS. - The white streak on the water below the mountains on the right hand side of the image is a raft of the sort of rubble ice that is difficult to avoid. The rest are all of sizes that are best avoided.
    I can only bow to your obvious expertise on the subject of ice riddled waters. I would still favour an encapsulated keel regardless of the conditions you've have skilfully explained. It just removes a worry lurking in ones subconscious.

  4. #44
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Antofagasta, bound North...
    Posts
    384

    Default Re: Arctic- what 40-45' yacht?

    IMG_2043.jpgUntitled-07a.jpg

    You don't have to go to high latitudes to find ice... first shot is in 49S, second in 46S...

    Most boats hereabouts are GRP..

  5. #45
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    East coast UK. Mostly. Sometimes the Philippines
    Posts
    9,790

    Default Re: Arctic- what 40-45' yacht?

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Holden View Post
    IMG_2043.jpgUntitled-07a.jpg

    You don't have to go to high latitudes to find ice... first shot is in 49S, second in 46S...

    Most boats hereabouts are GRP..
    Proper.

  6. #46
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Boat Orwell - Me Norwich
    Posts
    8,226

    Default Re: Arctic- what 40-45' yacht?

    Quote Originally Posted by AntarcticPilot View Post
    In Svalbard you are required to carry a rifle for protection against polar bears. I think these can be hired at Longyearbyen - they certainly used to be.
    You can hire a polar bear! Wow, I want one!

  7. #47
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Cambridge, UK
    Posts
    6,162

    Default Re: Arctic- what 40-45' yacht?

    Quote Originally Posted by LittleSister View Post
    You can hire a polar bear! Wow, I want one!
    Pedant!

    Polar bear poster.jpg

  8. #48
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Boat Orwell - Me Norwich
    Posts
    8,226

    Default Re: Arctic- what 40-45' yacht?

    I remember reading of an account of a couple of sailors who had gone ashore, and then noticed a polar bear had appeared between them and their boat or dinghy (and presumably gun) and taking an interest in them. They stood side by side with their arms around each others' shoulders, to make themselves look like one bigger being, and jumped up and down flapping their arms around.

    They lived to tell the tale, but you wouldn't want to bank on it working every time.

  9. #49
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    France
    Posts
    25,331

    Default Re: Arctic- what 40-45' yacht?

    Quote Originally Posted by dom View Post
    Are you sure

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CX2b3U0n2zY

    Well worth a 5min watch BTW since I know you love cats !!
    IIRC there was an incident with a polar bear trying to climb on to the cat.

  10. #50
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Barbados (East coast)
    Posts
    4,638

    Default Re: Arctic- what 40-45' yacht?

    Here is an interesting article - the author sails a 70's wooden boat in high latitudes.

    http://www.oceannavigator.com/July-A...titude-vessel/

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