Two years ago, on July 23rd, I landed in Resolute Bay, in the Canadian Arctic, as part of the team who made history by taking a small boat to the 1996 location of the North Magnetic Pole. It was a difficult journey, navigating fast moving ice fields. Lead by polar adventurer Jock Wishart in a team of six men, I filmed this for a BBC1 documentary ‘Rowing the Arctic.’
At the time, we knew that it was only the second year since ice records began that anyone could have completed this route by rowing boat. The sea ice moves quickly on the currents and winds during the brief Arctic summer, and year on year it is receding. However, to allow clear passage to Deer Bay, where the ’96 North Mag Pole lies, takes a great degree of luck, with the labyrinth of ice fields moving in the right patterns.
At the time, I knew that we had been lucky. But looking back I can see that this same journey would have been impassible in both 2012 and 2013. In fact, this year, ice-fields would have prevented us even leaving Resolute Bay and starting up the Wellington Channel, let alone making the final push across open water to Amund Ringnes and Ellef Ringnes islands.
Here are some up to date satellite images of those same passages of water that we rowed across – click on either to get a bigger view
Some links to read more about this expedition
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