Northwest Passage sailors nearing goal

Three sailors attempting an unusual route through the Northwest Passage are reaching a critical stage. (photos courtesy sailors trying to take an unusual route through the Northwest Passage are closer to reaching their goal.

The Canadian, American and Swede entered Canadian waters earlier this month. A week ago, their small boat, Belzebub 2, had mechanical problems forcing the sailors back to the community of Resolute in Canada’s eastern Arctic territory of Nunavut.

But crew member Nicolas Peissel said they’re on the water again, and approaching the final stage of their passage.

“We’re all very excited, but we’re also approaching this with a serious mindset because if we make a rash decision, if the winds change, that could mean that we’re trapped for the winter,” he said. “So none of us want to rush into this into a situation we’re not sure of.”

The sailors are hoping to travel the M’Clure Strait, north of Banks Island.

It’s the most northern route through the Northwest Passage and it’s never been done in a sailboat.

Peissel says they could make it through M’Clure Strait in as few as three days if ice conditions are good.

But the delay in Resolute cost the group time meaning they only have about a week to finish the journey.

If M’Clure Strait is impassable, they’ll take an alternate route down the east side of Banks Island.

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