22 August 2013
For a week Tara has been waiting to go through the Vilkinsky Strait (Russia) and pass Cape Chelyuskin – the northernmost point in Asia, and a strategic place in the Northeast passage.
This year the ice is particularly dense along a 400-mile strip in the Strait. So, for 7 days Tara has been positioned alongside other small ships near the ice block, in good weather conditions. An anticyclone has been dominating the region for a while.
At present, maps and satellite information show that the ice is melting in Vilkinsky Strait, but not fast enough for the schooner to pass through without the help of a Russian icebreaker and the expertise of its crew. The Yamal, which assists ships in the area, will be able to open the way for Tara as well as the other boats, sometime during the day tomorrow.
Roman Troublé, Secretary General of Tara Expeditions favors this solution, and is in constant communication with local contacts and Tara’s partners. “We are confident that the situation will evolve in a positive way in the next 24 hours,” he confided this afternoon.
The Tara Oceans Polar Circle expedition is therefore a few days behind schedule. After the next 24 hours, part of the scientific program will probably be shortened in order to reach Pevek, our next stopover, on time, and continue the mission to Canada.