Ice Navigation RV Mirai Arctic Deployment #18

RV Mirai has been working through some weather over the last few days.   Winds have been steady from the NE30 gusting 40 kts and the seas, short and choppy in this shallow portion of the Chukchi Sea have been running between 3 and 4 meters.  Though air temperatures are consistently below zero, the sea surface temperatures remain above 2ºC so there is no risk of freezing spray.  RV Mirai takes the seas well however.  There is an occasional toss against a bulkhead, and at times an inopportune roll about your bunk but generally she rides well.  There are some that don’t appreciate that however, there have been fewer young technicians showing up for meals lately.

Ice Navigation RV Mirai Arctic Deployment 2013 #17

News reached the ship today of the voyage of Nordic Bulk Carriers Nordic Orion with a cargo of metallurgical coal from from Vancouver, BC to Finland through the Northwest Passage.  The article says it is the first commercial bulk carrier voyage via the NWP.   I certainly could not argue whether that is actual fact or not, but I do know, having sailed extensively on one of the highest ice class cargo ships in the world, the MV Arctic (then owned and operated by Canarctic Shipping, now by Fednav), that bulk ships have been coming and going from the Northwest Passage for decades.  Is this the beginnings of the highway across the top of the world via the Northwest Passage. Not likely.

Ice Navigation RV Mirai Arctic Deployment 2013 #16

If your  palate does not enjoy fish, then you shouldn’t consider a lengthy deployment on a Japanese ship.  Thankfully, this mariner happens to love fish.  Fish is the predominant item at virtually all meals onboard.

Ice Navigation RV Mirai Arctic Deployment 2013 #15

Mid September in the Arctic is the time of seasonal change when it comes to ice. It is the change from melt and retreat of ice to freezing and advance. With that change, the Ice Navigator’s role begins to change from one of constantly looking for the next new opening,” Where can we get to now?, to what is closing and no longer open to this ship.


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