Women, Children and Families
(Anouk Lorie/CNN, 17 July 2009) -- LONDON, England - An eco-friendly French boat is hoping to successfully cross the perilous Arctic sea passage that links the Atlantic Ocean with the Pacific. "Le Mangier" is attempting to navigate the icy, unpredictable Northern Sea Route, a 6,000 mile passage that skims the northern coast of Siberia. It is a trip that only a handful of leisure boats in history have successfully completed. Not only that, the modified tug boat is also attempting to do it ecologically. The boat's crew is relying partly on wind-power to complete the route, parts of which are only free of ice for two short months during the Arctic summer. Three sails have been added to the tug boat, which normally runs on gas-guzzling motors. ... The voyage, which is projected to take about six months, started in the South of France in April and, if they make it through the route successfully, will end in Japan. The crew's other ecological concessions include relying on solar panels for electricity and warm water, using only long-lasting LED light bulbs eating only organic products during their journey. On-board are seven adults and two children, including a painter, two writers, a scientist and a historian. Currently, the team's primary concern is not the fear of being trapped in ice and being forced to "hibernate" in Siberia's frigid temperatures, but getting the required paperwork in time before the approaching colder months, which cause ice to harden in the passage. "Le Mangier" is in Tromso, Norway waiting for the green light from the Russian government, which rarely allows non-Russian vessels to enter the passage.
Posted 17 July 2009; 2:48:37 PM. Permalink