WATCH FOR ICE: Sailing the Northwest Passage on a 1915 gaff-rigged ketch
Dr. Hester Jiskoot is a keen glaciologist and a keen sailor. In summer 2019, she combined the two passions during the successful attempt of the Tecla, a historic two-mast sailing ship, to traverse the Northwest Passage from Ilulissat, West Greenland, to Nome, Alaska. After crossing Baffin Bay, the ship continued along the inlets, sounds and straits of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago to the Beaufort Sea, Chukchi Sea and Bering Strait. The vessel moored in the settlement harbours of Pond Inlet, Taloyoak, Gjoa Haven, Cambridge Bay and Herschel Island. Tecla’s crew also made landings at remote beaches, including on Disko Island, Beechey Island, and at Kugluktuk and Tuktoyaktuk Peninsula. The final landing was at the infamous Alaska Gold Rush town of Nome.
In this visually stunning presentation, Hester will share the crew’s onboard experiences and take you on shore outings. You will see Arctic seascapes and landscapes adorned with northern lights, icebergs, sea ice and glaciers. There will be navigational hazards, pingos and thawing permafrost cliffs. There will be lichens, willows, whales, birds and musk oxen. Together, we will meet some of the characters and cultures in Arctic settlements, travel to historical sites related to Franklin’s and Amundsen’s expeditions, see (abandoned) stations of various kinds and find flakes of gold. Hester will also share some of her scientific observations of weather, clouds and sea surface temperature, and discuss a colleague’s beach observations of plastic and marine litter.