Saturday, Nov 28 2020
All Cities
Choose Your City
'

The moon over Baikal glittered in different way, like you are looking at sable fur

'
Ian Frazier, 2013

Giant sailing ship encounters no ice as it attempts the Northern Sea Route

By The Siberian Times reporter
22 September 2020

Magnificent STS Sedov easily passes three Arctic seas exactly 142 years after the famous Vega Expedition was stuck in pack ice for 11 months.

99 year old STS Sedov on way from Vladivostok to home port of Kaliningrad. Picture: STS Sedov


The crew of the STS Sedov has now sailed more than 3,600 miles from Vladivostok as it journeys on top of the world aiming for its home port Kaliningrad on the Baltic Sea by mid-November.

Some 600 miles of their voyage has been under sail. 

Already travelling east to west the vessel has passed the spot at which the Vega, sailing west to east,  became encased in ice in 1878.

There is a startling difference in conditions between then and now. 

Giant sailing ship encounters no ice as it attempts the Northern Sea Route


Giant sailing ship encounters no ice as it attempts the Northern Sea Route


Giant sailing ship encounters no ice as it attempts the Northern Sea Route
Magnificent STS Sedov easily passes three Arctic seas exactly 142 years after the famous Vega Expedition was stuck in pack ice for 11 months. Pictures: Nikolay Berezhnoy, STS Sedov, Vasili Semidianov


Ivan Fedyushin, 2nd officer at STS Sedov, said: 'Passing through the Bering Sea, Chukchi Sea and East Siberian Sea we did not encounter even remnants of ice fields.

'Favourable weather allowed us to set sail… for two days we were under sail only, 140 years after The Vega Expedition.

'Based on all this, we can say that global climate changes make sea routes in polar waters more accessible for all types of ships.”

The 99-year-old German built barque  STS Sedov is aiming to highlight how the Northern Sea Route across the Arctic Ocean is now open as a viable route.  

Giant sailing ship encounters no ice as it attempts the Northern Sea Route


Giant sailing ship encounters no ice as it attempts the Northern Sea Route


Giant sailing ship encounters no ice as it attempts the Northern Sea Route


Giant sailing ship encounters no ice as it attempts the Northern Sea Route


Giant sailing ship encounters no ice as it attempts the Northern Sea Route

STS Sedov left Vladivostok on 19 August 2020. Pictures:Vasili Semidianov, STS Sedov


A new fleet of Russia icebreakers will soon make this even more a reality, even during the winter. Captained by Viktor Nikolin, this is the first such voyage along the Northern Sea route. 

An icebreaker is sailing with the vessel but so far it has not been required. 

Should ice situation allow, the STS Sedov will be calling at ports on the Northern Sea Route (NSR). 

Along with 136 cadets, there is a scientific group on board the vessel, formerly named the Magdalene Vinnen II and Kommodore Johnsen.

Before the NSR journey the barque crossed the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific oceans, spending 179 days at  sea and clocking up 23,000 nautical miles.

Should it complete the NSR as planned, this will be the end of its round the world voyage.

Giant sailing ship encounters no ice as it attempts the Northern Sea Route


Giant sailing ship encounters no ice as it attempts the Northern Sea Route


Giant sailing ship encounters no ice as it attempts the Northern Sea Route
Crew of STS Sedov on board of the barque and at Chukotka, Russia's easternmost region. Pictures: Nikolay Berezhnoy, STS Sedov


The Vega Expedition was the first to navigate the route, known as the Northeast Passage, and on an historic voyage, was also the first to sail around Eurasia. 

The steamship SS Vega under the leadership of Swedish Finnish explorer Adolf Erik Nordenskiold  became stuck in pack ice on 28 September 1878, some 1.5 km from the coast of the Chukchi Peninsula.

While this is a week or so later than now, the vessel for a month or so had only a narrow strip of ice-free water to navigate in stark contrast to the description by Fedyushin.

Giant sailing ship encounters no ice as it attempts the Northern Sea Route
SS Vega frozen into packed ice outside Piltekai, Siberia at the end of 19th century. Photo by Louis Palander


The latest post from Mikhail Novikov, Captain-Supervisor of the STS Sedov, stated: ‘We are sailing in the East Siberian Sea under power. 

‘Ship's speed is 6.5 knots. 

‘Today it is cloudy, no precipitation. Southwest wind is 10-12 m/s. The temperature in the sailing area is 3 degrees Celsius. 

‘Tonight, all ship's clocks were set an hour back. Over the past day 179.1 miles have been sailed.’

Comments (6)

Sailed on board this magnificent barque during 1997 in the Cutty Sark Tall Ships Races from Aberdeen to Trondheim. Delighted that she is still sailing. Have a happy 100th year birthday.
Andre Barton, Scotland, United Kingdom.
18/10/2020 23:39
0
0
As third cook my nautical accomplishment was to dump garbage over the fantail, but congratulations to the deckhands that got to enjoy the view.
Craig Adkins, Los Angeles
28/09/2020 19:39
1
1
How amazing to have accomplished what the ship has against so many demanding scenarios.
For me to have become 78 years of age and to be able to know of the sailing/ motorised transit of the North West Passage is mind blowing.
Perhaps it is truly climate change which is facilitating this but anyway S.T.S.Sedov and the crew are extraordinary.
Thank you!
Alayne Bowditch, Truro,Cornwall,England.
24/09/2020 15:57
5
1
What a marvelous accomplishment. From planning to execution, it would make an inspirational movie.


I prefer the tropics and trade winds. Everyone who made the trip has memories to last a lifetime.
Michael wilburson, Newport. Rhode Island usa
24/09/2020 05:38
3
0
Magnificent white ship going around the world!
David B. Benson, United States
23/09/2020 10:40
3
0
is this the way to come? no ice up there during -summer-? welcome global warming?
MORAK Benedikt, Moscow
23/09/2020 10:10
7
1
1

Add your comment

We welcome a healthy debate, but do not accept offensive or abusive comments. Please also read 'Siberian Times' Privacy Policy

Name

Town/Country

Add your comments

The views expressed in the comments above are those of our readers. 'Siberian Times' reserves the right to pre-moderate some comments.

Control code*

Type the code

* obligatory


News

Business

The Bank of Russia official exchange rates of foreign currencies
EUR90.46USD75.86GBP101.38Other...