Canadian Nicolas Peissel and Swede Edvin Buregren are making final preparations to sail a new northern route through the Northwest Passage that has never been achieved before, on their 31ft Hallberg-Rassy, the Belzebub II. In doing this they will be again demonstrating to the world just how rapidly the Arctic is melting.
Belzebub’s crew - looking ready for anything
They plan on going much further up the West Coast of Greenland to the highest latitude possible before turning south following the coast of Ellesmere Island. Instead of crossing Devon Island to the south by entering Lancaster Sound to reach Resolute which is the'traditional route', they will attempt to pass Devon Island to the North through Jones Sound.
Then they will join up with Norwegian Bay to meet Northumberland Sound to sail down to Resolute from where they will evaluate the ice charts.
If possible they will then continue along the Viscount Melville Sound and attempt to cross the McClure strait.(McClure Strait ice crushed the Investigator of the McClure Expedition of 1850-54. The ice trapped the Investigator forcing the crew to spend four winters in the Arctic.)
Belzebub’s challenge ahead - a never-before-sailed route
Having studied ice charts and satellite images of the ice and trends over the years they believe they can safely accomplish this never-before-travelled route by a sailing boat.
They say, 'In doing so we hope to bring about greater awareness to the changing climate of the Arctic as well as highlight never before explored areas by sailboat.'
Belzebub II is a Monsun 31 built in Sweden by Hallberg- Rassy in 1976. The Monsun is a 31-foot GPR boat, designed by Olle Enderlein who claimed that 'beautiful boats are great sailors'. He designed it to be a sturdy long distance sailor that could double as a family cruiser.
Belzebub II in warmer weather than they will experience this summer
To learn more about their expedition, http://belzebub2.com/home?lang=en!click_here.