Contractors, vendors and people that helped Fortrus get through the NW passage.

 

A&R Engineering:                  Metal works, design, welding and powder coating

N&G Engineering:                 Main Engines and Generators

Décor Modern Metals:          Metal works, design, welding and pipe work

Hull Technologies:                 Welding and Modifications

Premier Marine (Halifax):   Canadian Agent

Blue Water Shipping:           Greenland Agent

Alaska Yacht Services:          Alaska Agent

Steve Hubbart:                      Captain M/Y Indigo

Pemba Marine:                      Paint and Varnish

Saltwater Boat Works:           Carpentry and design

Dennis Boat Works:               Carpentry and design

Island Marine Electronics:   Nav equipment and overall electrical work

Cote Marine:                          Electrical work

GBR Marine:                           Atlas Tech

ABT TRAC:                             Justine Rhodes

ION:                                        VSAT internet service provider

Paradise Marine:                   Electronics

Maritime Summit Shop:       Sarah (cold weather gear)

Seven Seas Yachts:                Scout dealer

Andrew Lebuhn:                   Broker (Camper and Nicholson)

Kardinal Marine:                   Management

Murray and Associates:       Naval Architects

Pete’s frootique:                      Halifax

Newson Provisioning:         Beth and Brian Fresh fruit and veg

Marc Jackson

Streamline Computing:        All I.T. and A.V. work done on Fortrus

The whole team

Amanzi Marine:                 Yacht provisioning, fueling and overall planning

Blog design and hosting.

 

As the Captain of Fortrus, I recommend all the above people or vendors.

Thanks for helping to make this trip a success,

Captain Scott Newson

Advertisements

We completed the Northwest Passage!

We departed Cambridge Bay on the 8th of September. The seas were calm all the way into Tuktoyaktuk. We stopped for just enough time to take on some fuel to keep on moving.

Powering thru the waves.

We punched through the first rough weather just west of Point Barrow. We ran into a short 7 ft on the nose. We took a left hand turnaround Port Hope and hugged the coast for ten hours to avoid some strong northerlies.  We took a straight line from there to the Bering Straights. We knew that it would be rough but the predictions were much better than what we encountered.
Fortrus ended up having to ride 15ft waves that backed around from the starboard side all the way to the bow. We punched through seas for over 20 hours with winds gusting to 60 knots.
On September 16th, we made it through the Bering Straights to complete the Northwest Passage.
We’ve had some spectacular Northern lights along the way. It was tough to get good photos with the boat moving around so much.
We are hoping to make it straight through to Juneau however a few gales south of the Aleutians are trying to prevent us from getting all the way to the southeast. We might have to stop in Dutch…

Dragging the Scout thru heavy seas.


Cambridge Bay

Due to some weather, we decided to stay in Cambridge Bay for a few extra days. Levi and Charlie took the guests fishing up a fresh watercreek. They pulled in some good fish and had a great time.  They met a retired local named Jimmy and made arrangements to meet up with him the next day.

Quads alongside Fortrus. Photo by Stephen McDonald.

Photo by Stephen McDonald.

Jimmy came by the boat and took us to meet his sister and brother in-law who rented us some quads and a truck. We followed Jimmy up to Mount Pelee. The weather was fantastic and the ride was super fun. A few of us ran up the mountain and Jacob spotted a small herd of Muskox.  Steve got some amazing video of the herd running strait down at him.  We were lucky enough to get some great pictures right up close to these wild creatures. Amazing… On the way back we found a weasel and also pulled in some Arctic Char with Jimmy.

Muskox. Photo by Michael Power.

Photo by Michael Power.

The people of Cambridge Bay have been very helpful and Fortrus is now fully provisioned for the next leg of it’s journey. We tried to fuel while we were here but due to ice the town’s delivery of winter fuel is late and they can’t afford to deplete their supplies any more.

Weasel. Photo by Michael Power.

We all had a very memorable time in Cambridge Bay….

Next Stop, Tuktoyaktuk.

Trick photography!  Photo by Michael Power.


Cornwall Island and Heavy Seas

We headed around the east side of Cornwall Island to see how high we could climb. We made it to 75 degrees when the ice surrounded the boat. It was amazing to be surrounded by new forming ice but we new at this point that we couldn’t keep heading north. Fortrus was digging a perfect channel through the Ice. We did a few turns and made some cool designs in the ice. The Scout was riding in a trench of water with ice on both sides. Amazing…

Photo by Natasha Kovalenko.

Photo by Natasha Kovalenko.

We headed south down Prince Regent inlet and got into some pretty heavy weather. The winds were gusting from the North at over 50 knots. The boat handled the stern seas of 5 to 7 feet with no problems at all. The Scout was doing some pretty impressive surfing. We think that it might have gotten barreled a few times.

We tried to anchor around Fort Ross but the wind was too much. We contacted the coast guard and together we agreed to shoot through the Bellot Straights. We ran into 7knots of current as we went through the narrows. Our speed dropped to less than 2 knots over the ground.

We knew that we would be running into some pretty serious ice once we got to the other side. The wind decided to drop off as we entered into the ice fields. The first wave of ice was pretty easy. It was around 3/10th of concentration. We knew that the second wave was going to be between 4/10th and 5/10th.

The ice in the second field got pretty thick so thought that it would be a good idea to put the jetskies in the water and have some fun. The guests and crew all jumped and floated around on chunks of Ice. The jet skies aired over a few icebergs and Sam decided to swim around the ice in a dry suit. We almost lost Notti as he floated away on a small piece of Ice. Sam rescued him on a Jet ski.

Photo by Paul McDonald.

Photo by Paul McDonald.

Photo by Paul McDonald.

Photo by Michael Power.

Once we were done playing around, we needed to punch through some heavy ice before making it into open water. Some of the bergs stopped Fortrus completely in her tracks. The Steel hull thumped against the ice so hard that people almost fell over on deck. It was pretty scary but we don’t have any salt water coming in. That’s a good thing.

We made it through and are now off to Cambridge Bay. The wind is a steady 28 knots and to seas are 4 to 6 on the nose, pretty bumpy weather but we need to bang out some more miles.

Photo by Jacob McDonald.


Playing on an Iceberg and Resolute

After leaving Croker Bay we decided to pull over and play on an Iceberg. We found a Monster berg and pulled the scout up to it. Everybody jumped off and instantly became kids. It looked like a perfect floating winter playground. Guests and crew all started to climb and play on the Ice.  After some time, we decided to back Fortrus up to the berg so that everybody could step off and on to the swim platform. Pretty cool…

Photo by Natasha Kovalenko

Photo by Levi Bell.

We anchored that night at Beechy Island.  We went ashore to see the gravesites of Franklin’s expedition. We all gave thanks to the explorers that paved the way through the NW passage. It’s unbeleivable to imagine what it would have been like to be stranded there. Noddy and Erik ran into an Arctic Hare on the island and got a few great photos. We also saw a fox running around on Beechy the next day. Other than the animals, the island has a very sober feeling about it.

The weather changed over night. The pressure dropped more than 16 mb and the seas became a short six feet. The winds lasted the entire 60NM to Resolute where we needed to be to pick up the Australian boys.  Our voyage is now definitely starting to feel like an adventure.

Photo by Charlie Howden.

Photo by Charlie Howden.

Michael was running a little low on fresh fruit and veg. We had my parents, Beth and Brian pack up some supplies and meet up with the boys on their way through Ottawa. The four made it through some thick fog and into Resolute. Michael was very relieved to receive some much needed fresh supplies. There isn’t much in the way of fresh vegetables or fruit up here.

With the change in weather, the ice decided to shift and block our way south. We contacted the Canadian Coast Guard to discuss the situation with the ice. They agreed with our plan. We will hang out up here for a couple of days and wait for the ice to dissipate before heading south. Let’s hope the ice cooperates with our plan.

Photo by Natasha Kovalenko.

Now that we have all the guests on board and a couple of days in hand, we’ve decided to head a little further north. The snow has been coming down hard and the boats brow is now covered in Ice.  The guests were having a good time taking photos in the snow.

We spoke to a few locals in Resolute and they put us on to a pod of Baluga Whales. Very cool white whales.

The hope tomorrow is to make it all the way to 80 degrees north. We’ll try to make it all the way up to the pack Ice.

Photo by Natasha Kovalenko.

Artic Hare. Photo by Erik Aubry.