Bi-Polar Northwest Passage Story

A September 18, 2007 article by Troy Lennon in the Daily Telegraph, Sydney about the Northwest Passage, the “trip that caused the toughest to tremble,” completely missed the point.

The author says in the third paragraph, “If global warming continues, it may just achieve what thousands of people tried and failed to do — open up a northwest passage from the Atlantic through to the Pacific.”

Then at the end of the article he (the author) details those explorers that did transverse it, albeit not for commerce.

In the 20th Century someone actually sailed along the route. In 1906 Norwegian Roald Amundsen braved the course aboard the Gjoa, a converted herring boat.

In 1940-42 Canadian Mounted Police officer Henry Larsen sailed the St Roch — a diesel-powered schooner clad in Australian ironbark timber — from Vancouver to Halifax. It was the first to sail the passage from west to east. In 1944 he sailed from Halifax to Vancouver, setting a record of 86 days — the first vessel to sail the passage in a single season. But cost has stopped commerce from following the adventurers.

The Northwest Passage has been traveled many times before: in 1906, 1942, 1944, 1957, 1969, 1977, and 1984. And the Vikings may have even succeeded earlier. Don’t believe the alarmists who say that the opening of this route portends the end of the world.