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Old 02-26-2021, 10:16 AM   #1
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North West Passage

Has anyone transited the NWP in the past few years? As we research it as one of our bucket list items, we're seeing some saying you need like 30-40 of various permits and licences, etc, even though its an international waterway. If thats even true, I guess that would put a lot of people off, including us. Anybody up to date on that?
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Old 02-26-2021, 10:28 AM   #2
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Something just as important as permits..... is a bit of high latitude, ice experience.


A lot of people may not consider actual experience that big of a deal, but after 23 years USCG experience with all kinds of boating and rescue experiences....and 3 trips to the arctic and 1 to Antarctica...it is definitely an extreme of boating worthy of getting real experience/sailing with someone who has it.
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Old 02-26-2021, 10:33 AM   #3
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Something just as important as permits..... is a bit of high latitude, ice experience.
For sure, and one of us has that. But even he says that if there is a lot of burocratic hassle from various Canadian agencies, (and even eskimos tribes!), we shouldnt even bother. Youre supposed to be able to transit international waterways.
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Old 02-26-2021, 10:36 AM   #4
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It can be done, but personally, that wouldn't be all that high on my list of places to go. I can think of a whole heck of a lot of places with a better "stuff to see / experience / enjoy vs effort" ratio that would make sense to do first.
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Old 02-26-2021, 10:39 AM   #5
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A Canadian rancher did it in a Diesel Duck a few years ago as part of a circumnavigation. I'm sure his story is around here somewhere or could be found with alittle web searching.
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Old 02-26-2021, 10:41 AM   #6
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It can be done, but personally, that wouldn't be all that high on my list of places to go. I can think of a whole heck of a lot of places with a better "stuff to see / experience / enjoy vs effort" ratio that would make sense to do first.
Fair enough, but its very beautiful up there according to accounts and fotos. Its more a matter of having to get 30 or 40 licences....and for an international waterway. Its like piracy.
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Old 02-26-2021, 10:43 AM   #7
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A Canadian rancher did it in a Diesel Duck a few years ago as part of a circumnavigation. I'm sure his story is around here somewhere or could be found with alittle web searching.
Thanks...we read all we can find.
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Old 02-26-2021, 10:48 AM   #8
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Here you go

Northwest Passage 2014: I remember: M/V IDLEWILD (2005NWP) on a circumnavigation that included never before unique portages by a 57' boat
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Old 02-26-2021, 10:51 AM   #9
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Thanks! Will read after luncheon.
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Old 02-26-2021, 11:08 AM   #10
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Fair enough, but its very beautiful up there according to accounts and fotos. Its more a matter of having to get 30 or 40 licences....and for an international waterway. Its like piracy.
Unless you get way up there it's not international waters. Have a look at the attached and you'll see that you have to go very far north to be out of Canada's territorial waters and into what might be considered international waters. On the eastern part you will need to be about 83 degrees north latitude. Also attached is one version of the NW Passage route. Consider that if you need supplies or support of any kind you will be in Canadian waters. I don't know if you'll need 30 - 40 permits but you won't be in international waters for much of the passage. You may have to get permissions from first nations. Canada has a lot of respect for and support of first nation's claims.
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canada-provinces-and-cities.jpg   northwest-passage-map-lg.gif  
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Old 02-26-2021, 11:09 AM   #11
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Greetings,
Mr. DE. That would be a disputed "international waterway".


https://www.oktlaw.com/sovereignty-b...hwest-passage/
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Old 02-26-2021, 11:11 AM   #12
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They also don't want just anyone wandering around up there without being prepared. It's very remote and SAR up there is a big deal.
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Old 02-26-2021, 11:13 AM   #13
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I don't see any part of the passage that is more than 24 miles wide (2x12). Pretty hard to enforce international waters when it doesn't really meet our standards and there is not a legal agreement tat it is so.
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Old 02-26-2021, 11:29 AM   #14
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Well done YouTube documentary from 2019.



This does not look like a particularly arduous passage but does require a stout hull and reliable systems. The window for passage is extremely short so an equipment failure of consequence could really jam-up the passage. It's a bit binary - either you hit acceptable weather, or you don't. Your equipment is reliable or it isn't. The narrator meets someone who is on their second try. A few years earlier on an identical boat, the guy got iced-in and his boat was crushed by the ice.

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Old 02-26-2021, 11:50 AM   #15
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Greetings,
Mr. DE. That would be a disputed "international waterway".


https://www.oktlaw.com/sovereignty-b...hwest-passage/
The US, Russia, China, forcstarters, do NOT recognize Canadas claims. They consider it international waters.
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Old 02-26-2021, 11:52 AM   #16
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Thank you to Portage Bay, psneeld and RT for those gentle suggestions regarding sovereignty...calling the Northwest Passage international waters is akin to calling the ICW the same.

Also, you may want to brush up on your Inuit cultural knowledge/sensitivity.
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Old 02-26-2021, 11:52 AM   #17
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The US, Russia, China, forcstarters, do NOT recognize Canadas claims. They consider it international waters.

If I'm remembering correctly, the debate isn't so much about international waters or not, it's whether the right of innocent passage applies.
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Old 02-26-2021, 11:56 AM   #18
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Guys, thanks for the info. The OP was more about the issue of burocracy, not the dangers....we know about them, and theyre one of the reasons we like sturdy boats. Yachts go thru every year, and I think one of the accounts said in as little as 19 days.
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Old 02-26-2021, 12:02 PM   #19
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I would check out the story of HMS Terror before considering this trip!! And watch out for (big) polar bears!
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Old 02-26-2021, 12:06 PM   #20
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The Russians are now moving large ship cargo, especially LNG destined for China, through vestiges of the NW Passage with new icebreakers keeping things opened up.

In 2009 Sprague Theobold on his 57' Nordhavn did the NW Passage making a great video of trip. Old Norwegian writings from around 700 BC suggest the vikings did it too, before the Little Ice Age and slow down (an oft occurring event in geologic time) of the Gulf Current sealed it up for about 1200 years. These types of historical hints are what prompted the British to offer huge sums to Captain Cook to find the NW Passage.
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