Thursday, January 31, 2008

NY Times blogger not fully informed on boat traffic through the Northwest Passage


But then, in an attempt to debunk the historic significance of the Northwest Passage becoming fully navigable for a brief period last summer, the report points to past instances of sailors making it through the Northwest Passage, starting with Roald Amundsen in 1905. Well, it’s true that Amundsen got through, but he went in a small boat with a shallow draft, took a circuitous route through relatively southerly channels, and required 28 months (and two winters stuck in the ice) to complete the journey. That’s not comparable to the ice-free shipping route being discussed today.
Excerpt from my comment here:
Actually, American media coverage of the “Northwest Passage” issue has been pretty abysmal.

Since 1905, according to the BBC, about 110 boats have been through the Northwest Passage (four of them in 2007). Thirty of the 110 were recreational boats.

The Northwest Passage was successfully navigated in 1906, 1940, 1941, 1942, 1944, 1957, 1969, 1977, 1984, 1988, and 2000 (and probably in other years as well).

Supporting links here and here.

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