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Pen Hadow Sets Off

August 16, 2017

By Paul Homewood



Pen Hadow is now finally on his way to the North Pole:




Pen Hadow sets sail for North Pole as Arctic ice melts

British explorer Pen Hadow and his crew have set sail from Alaska, in an attempt to become the first people ever to sail to the North Pole.

With Arctic ice melting at an unprecedented rate, previously inaccessible waters are opening up, creating the potential for their planned 5,500 km (3,500 mile) journey for the first time in human history.



NSIDC show the unprecedented rate at which the ice has melted in the last ten years!


It also seems to be getting thicker as well:




According to the BBC:

With Arctic ice melting at an unprecedented rate, previously inaccessible waters are opening up, creating the potential for their planned 5,500 km (3,500 mile) journey for the first time in human history.

Maybe the fact that the expedition is equipped with two boats specially built to sail through ice, and with all the latest technology, might have something to do with it, as the Pen Hadow website reveals:

Our two 50 foot yachts, Bagheera and Snow Dragon II, are specially built to sail in waters with sea ice, and the four skippers, two on each boat, are exceptionally experienced in polar seas, and with navigation and safety procedures in sea ice.



Maybe next year Mr Hadow and his friends might like to try the same voyage in a replica Viking vessel, and see just how far they get.

  1. Alan Davidson permalink
    August 16, 2017 11:18 am

    Seem to recall reading somewhere over the weekend that this voyage to the North Pole had been cancelled due to the thick ice conditions.

    • Alan Davidson permalink
      August 16, 2017 12:11 pm

      They have set off now from Nome Alaska, so maybe it was fake news.

    • HotScot permalink
      August 16, 2017 12:11 pm

      It seems they left at 03:00 GMT yesterday morning (Tuesday).

      However, it wasn’t without mishap. According to his Twitter feed, the Bagheera was beached on a sand bar whilst leaving Nome harbour earlier.

      Good start.

      • roger permalink
        August 16, 2017 2:32 pm

        How fortunate to have four exceptionally experienced polar skippers.
        No doubt they will be joining the yachts after they clear the harbour sandbanks!

    • Green Sand permalink
      August 16, 2017 12:27 pm

      Yeh, read somewhere it had changed to “sailing around the North Pole”

    • August 16, 2017 12:41 pm

      It was delayed for a week or so

  2. steve permalink
    August 16, 2017 11:25 am

    Another ship of fools.

  3. Ian Magness permalink
    August 16, 2017 11:32 am

    Oh well, the polar bears could do with some extra protein at this time of year…
    Presumably, they haven’t taken any precautionary weapons, as they will believe there are no bears left.

  4. August 16, 2017 11:34 am

    Is this guy nuts?
    It will be interesting just to see exactly how far he gets!

    • roger permalink
      August 16, 2017 2:36 pm

      Rupert Nigel Pendrille Hadow was educated at Harrow School.
      Is he nuts? Your call.

      • Mike Jackson permalink
        August 16, 2017 2:48 pm

        Not qualified to comment, roger, but the fact that he has dumped the Rupert Nigel bit says something. If it had been me I would have hung onto the Nigel and got rid of the other two!

      • nigel permalink
        August 16, 2017 3:55 pm

        “Nigel” is actually an Icelandic name, related to the Irish “Niall,” and meaning “Champion.” I think it is appropriate to someone who goes off to freeze to death, extremely stupidly. Rather him than me.

    • Paddy permalink
      August 17, 2017 6:20 am

      He looks *terribly* intrepid in the BBC picture !

  5. Dung permalink
    August 16, 2017 11:50 am

    If there was any justice in this world then the earth would take this opportunity to swap the poles over right sharpish ^.^

  6. August 16, 2017 11:54 am

    I suspect that the success or failure of this expedition will depend largely on the activity of the Gakkel Ridge (and others) lying beneath the Arctic ice sheet. It has been recently found that the Earth’s crust here is thin and there is a lot of thermal venting taking place although it is only spreading very slowly.
    If you google “Gakkel Ridge activity” there is much of interest here.
    How much influence this has on the Arctic Ice Sheet is still just conjecture; but could explain why there are water pools found dotted around. (Forgotten what they called).

    • HotScot permalink
      August 16, 2017 12:05 pm

      Puddles? 🙂

    • August 16, 2017 12:23 pm


      • Gerry, England permalink
        August 16, 2017 12:38 pm

        That’s an area of open sea within the ice sheet not a pool of water on the ice.

      • August 16, 2017 1:38 pm

        Thanks Jit Just the word I was looking for and explained by Gerry.
        My point being that these could well be caused by the thermal venting mentioned above. Nothing to do with CO2.

    • August 17, 2017 12:16 pm

      Just as the recent posting about 91 volcanoes under Antarctica, do you think it could affect the ice?

      A little smarter was Commander William R. Anderson, USN who squeezed the USS Nautilus UNDER the North Pole on August 3, 1958, at 11:15 pm. They headed south in search of a” polynya” On August 5, they came under a large patch of open water, surfaced and sent the “Nautius 90 North” message.

      Reading a few of the comments has been comic relief.

  7. Nigel S permalink
    August 16, 2017 11:56 am

    No doubt equipped with huge diesel engines and plenty of fuel like last year’s polar circumnavigators. This trip is much more impressive, real sailing and a rifle for the polar bears that can be see stalking them as they ghost along in light airs looking for open water.

    • Jack Broughton permalink
      August 16, 2017 1:10 pm

      Surely they are not going to shoot the cuddly, “threatened” polar bears.

  8. quaesoveritas permalink
    August 16, 2017 12:22 pm

    I wonder if this goes wrong whether the BBC will continue to cover it in the news, or quietly forget about it.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      August 16, 2017 12:42 pm

      Oh that’s a hard one. lol

  9. Joe Public permalink
    August 16, 2017 12:37 pm

    Reminiscent of the Old Pulteney ‘Row To The Pole’, which was a publicity stunt sponsored by a whisky distiller for naming rights.

    • Curious George permalink
      August 16, 2017 2:04 pm

      Let’s wish brave explorers lots of good luck, and lots of good whisky.

      • roger permalink
        August 16, 2017 2:45 pm

        But what should we wish for “Pen” Hadow?
        Jolly boating weather?
        I don’t think old Harrovians do that one.

  10. Gerry, England permalink
    August 16, 2017 12:44 pm

    So will they cheat like last year’s ‘there is no ice we can sail there’ voyage where they conveniently followed the path of an ice-breaker to get through?

    If – sorry I mean when – they need rescuing I hope they will be charged for the costs in full. The ice breaker should carry a chip & pin terminal. No pay – no rescue.

  11. August 16, 2017 12:53 pm

    Top Gear did it much better. However, I think the ship of fools will provide a much longer period of entertainment.

  12. John Plummer permalink
    August 16, 2017 12:55 pm

    When this idiot gets stuck in the ice and has to be rescued… I wonder if the BBC will give equal headline space?

  13. bea permalink
    August 16, 2017 1:44 pm

    Have they really got fuel for a 7,000 mile round-trip?

    Why start from Nome rather than, say, Franz Josef Land – which is a quarter of the distance?

    Oh, I know the answer.

    They would get stuck immediately from Franz Josef Land.

    From Nome they can chug along merrily for a couple of thousand miles

    and claim they got MOST of the way.

    • nigel permalink
      August 16, 2017 4:55 pm

      Oh well, I just wasted 15 minutes of my life going to their web-site. The whole thing is a complete nothing. They are merely going for a little sail round Alaska, in the last days of the Northern summer. Big f*ing deal. I doubt if their keel will even make it onto the Arctic Ocean.

      • nigel permalink
        August 16, 2017 5:11 pm

        However, the BBC plan is obvious. They will report “astonishing” news that boats are able to find open water, quite far North, after 100 days of continuous overhead sunshine.

      • nigel permalink
        August 21, 2017 6:00 pm

        I should have said the Central Arctic Ocean as opposed to the marginal seas.

    • Alan Davidson permalink
      August 16, 2017 2:28 pm

      This was the item I read over the weekend. So the original aim was to sail over the open water at the North Pole. Now it’s to go as close as possible to the North Pole. Considering their late start from Nome, very likely to not get through NW Passage.

    • nigel permalink
      August 16, 2017 4:02 pm

      It is going to actually SAIL North??!! Not even a joke here.

  14. August 16, 2017 2:02 pm

    ‘It also seems to be getting thicker as well’ – just like the BBC with their fake ‘Arctic ice melting at an unprecedented rate’ assertions.

  15. August 16, 2017 2:55 pm

    Social Justice Warriors: motivations count not results.

    It’s shocking how failure is now a success if you display right-thinking.

    Didn’t get to the pole because the ice was too thick? What a guy! Trying to save the planet!

    Raising awareness of the current right-thinking has more value than reducing Al Gore’s CO2 footprint, which actually is the CAGW target. Our civilization truly is collapsing.

    • John F. Hultquist permalink
      August 17, 2017 4:34 am

      “ultimately” – – – Hadrow is ultimately a pawn of the elite’s movement toward one world government and the redistribution of wealth. If you are reading such things as blogs on the internet, keep your hand over your wallet.

      • August 24, 2017 8:22 am

        Can you explain your reasons for this comment Mr. Hultquist? (I took great care not to misspell your name by the way) Your view sounds very interesting but I do not know the facts behind your opinion.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      August 17, 2017 12:46 pm

      Why do I get the feeling taxpayers are contributing to this.

    • August 24, 2017 8:16 am

      Everyone’s being very negative! They are following in the footsteps of many explorers of dangerous places. Noone has made them go and I assume the finances were voluntarily donated. What is the point of sneering at his names? Trivial class issues should really be dead and gone by now surely. There are certainly big issues with wealthy people who use their power to manipulate the world to their own financial advantage:. If Hadow writes a book and earns some money from it thats not a bad thing, every explorer does it. Good Luck to him. If he wanted to be famous he could have taken his card tricks to a TV talent show.

  16. Neil Hampshire permalink
    August 16, 2017 4:06 pm

    You can follow his progress here

    • August 16, 2017 4:55 pm

      Interesting choice in maps – that Google map only extends to 85° north.

      • nigel permalink
        August 16, 2017 5:19 pm

        The website calls it a “voyage around [sic] the North Pole.” Are they going to effectively traverse the North West AND the North East Passages and in just ONE MONTH?

  17. Athelstan permalink
    August 16, 2017 5:02 pm

    Another daft old fable…………..

    there was an old daft un called awfully dim but nice,
    tried to sail to the middle of de boreal polar cap,
    alas, the silly boy! he got himself all stuck up in the ice!

    they told him “don’t dare go up there when the days grow thin!”
    he replied “oi’ve done it before – you’ll see!” raised his nose in the air and orf he went,
    should have taken a breaker, when them poley bears there came by a sniffin’.

    “the ice is going, going!” making an appeal he did confide,
    no worries for poley bears – ice they see it all the time and just don’t care,
    and yer sees the bears were so glad, that boy did make invite and a hearty feast at least he did provide.

  18. Jack Broughton permalink
    August 16, 2017 5:40 pm

    Perhaps they’ll take Wadham to advise on how fast the ice is disappearing and measure it. Didn’t he say that it would be all gone by now?

  19. Ed Zuiderwijk permalink
    August 16, 2017 5:41 pm

    At the moment of writing the extent of Arctic sea ice is just over 7 million square kilometers, on the way down to about 5.5 million square kilometers at minimum extent coming end September. North of Alaska the sea ice starts at about 76N, that is 1500 kilometer from the North Pole. The gentleman thinks he can sail to the pole itself. He will be sorely disappointed.

  20. Bitter&twisted permalink
    August 16, 2017 6:58 pm

    Hadow is just another “useful idiot” for the Alarmist cause.
    I just hope he and his “ships of fools” don’t endanger others who will have to come to their rescue when it all goes pear-shaped.

    • nigel permalink
      August 16, 2017 7:46 pm


      Nah. They won’t go far from base.

      NH sea-ice extent is about 6 million square kms. and sea-ice volume about 5 thousand cubic kms. Both are,for this time of year, roughly “the new normals,” ( i.e.those levels established about a decade ago).

      Greenland ice-cap experienced a lot of extra snow cover early in the year. An average melt season is now about finished; so the overall effect is a considerable growth to the ice sheet. ( “Just weather” – between you, me and the gate-post.)

      Actual daily updates (gospel or estimates, as you like) from satellites and aircraft are, of course, instantly available with barely any delay from various sources such as DMI So why anybody thinks it innovative to go there in a boat…

  21. Nigel S permalink
    August 16, 2017 9:45 pm

    This replica Viking longship made it to Newfoundland, stirring stuff, serious sailing. The original voyages had a 50% failure (fatal) rate, hence the modern survival gear worn by the crew of the replica..

  22. quaesoveritas permalink
    August 16, 2017 10:43 pm

    Om one of the reports on the BBC News channel the announce said they were going to try to reach the geographic north pole, while pointing to a map with the geomagnetic north pole labelled on it, which obviously is in a completely different place, much further south.
    Actually the geomagnetic pole is even in a different place to the magnetic pole.
    It isn’t clear to me whether some people at the BBC even know the difference,

    • nigel permalink
      August 17, 2017 6:14 am

      “…people at the BBC…”

      Are the sort of people who read books about science, not books of science.

      Summer might be ending a little early in the Arctic:

      • quaesoveritas permalink
        August 17, 2017 7:40 am

        It’s funny how recently the arctic seems to have been relatively colder in the summer and warmer in the winter months, but still below freezing though.

    • August 17, 2017 12:27 pm

      Commander Anderson, in his book “Nautilus 90 North” (mentioned above) about going under the North Pole, devotes considerable time to the issues with the compass and having to reset it every so often in order to reach the geographic North Pole. Also, the setting changes when leaving to get them back to the magnetic and figuring out where they were. They did it superbly.

      I read this 1959 book while still at Suncrest-Flatts Junior High School. I doubt the folks at BBC or other of the fake news community could comprehend it.

  23. Coeur de Lion permalink
    August 17, 2017 11:40 am

    Second week in September will see Arctic ice bottoming out at just over four Wadhams as usual since 2007. Of the BBC has him on the Today programme I will become a monk.

  24. dennisambler permalink
    August 17, 2017 11:40 am

    “Maybe next year Mr Hadow and his friends might like to try the same voyage in a replica Viking vessel, and see just how far they get.”

    They might try a wooden sailing ship like Roald Amundsen and find out he actually did the NW passage in 1906.


    “We encountered no ice with the exception of a few narrow strips of old sound ice, carried by the wash. Of large Polar ice we saw absolutely nothing.

    Between the ice and the land, on either side, there were large and perfectly clear channels, through which we passed easily and unimpeded.

    The entire accumulation of ice was not very extensive. We were soon out again in open water.

    Outside the promontories, some pieces of ice had accumulated; otherwise the sea was free from ice.

    The water to the south was open, the impenetrable wall of ice was not there.”

    “The Magnetic North Pole” by Geological Survey of Canada, Natural Resources Canada:

    “In 1831, at Cape Adelaide on the west coast of Boothia Peninsula, James Clark Ross measured a dip of 89 degrees 59 minutes. For all practical purposes, he had reached the North Magnetic Pole.

    The next attempt to reach the North Magnetic Pole was made some 70 years later by the Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen.

    In 1903, he left Norway on his famous voyage through the Northwest Passage. His primary goal was to set up a temporary magnetic observatory in the Arctic and to relocate the North Magnetic Pole.”

  25. Gordon Triggs permalink
    August 18, 2017 6:33 pm

    The attached photos may be of interest.

    When I sent these photos to a very, very eminent producer of wild life documentaries, and great believer in anthropogenic global warming; he replied ‘nobody ever said that there had not been previous periods when the ice diminished to virtually nothing at the north pole’ to which I replied ‘I have not heard global warming believers say that there has either’

    Gordon W. Triggs

  26. August 19, 2017 3:41 pm

    2009 and now 2017 – this fatuous stunt will be tried from time to time – quite likely financed by the BBC in its unending quest for alarmist ‘evidence’ for its global warming mythology. After all, for them, fraudsters and mountebanks at The Royal Society, not to mention almost the whole of the leftist academia and MSM, if the evidence doesn’t exist, go out and make sure that it does by whatever means that are expedient.

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