Quest Through The Pole

Quest Through The Pole

A mission to cross the Arctic Ocean via the North Pole together with French adventurers Sébastien Roubinet and Eric André .
3000 kilometers on a catamaran mounted on skies from Alaska to Svalbard.

Travel Diary

Day 83 – Land !

End of the expedition : follow the live news on Instagram / Facebook ! ...
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Day 82 – Getting closer.

The wind is too strong. We spend most of the day in the sleeping bag drifting SSE until 4.30pm. I take advantage of that break to repair my dry suit ...
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Day 81 – Last day? No.

The alarm rings, Jack Johnson is playing. It’s 4.30am. Listening to his music makes me happy. However I don’t find happiness waking up at 4.30 though surrounded by moisture ...
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Day 80 – Last day tomorrow?

Today, 7nm mostly on the ice chasing dark grey clouds on the horizon and hoping to find open water under them. We are in a pretty good position now as ...
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Day 79 – 5nm on a grey day…

Today we start and then stop by mid day since the wind is against us. We set camp and chill waiting for a turn. We start again in the end ...
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Day 78 – A mother and two cubs!!

There is a low pressure coming in few days so we’ll try to make to land before September 8th. It’s been 78 days that we are out and I feel ...
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Day 77 – Arctic Donkeys and Polar Bear.

Guys! We are 55nm from Canadian soil. We do 10nm today. The “Arctic Donkeys” are back to the routine of “push & pull” a boat on the frozen ocean. The highlight ...
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Day 74-75-76 – 20nm, 10 and then 20 again.

For the past three days, we cover 50nm, 90% of the time sailing and pulling « Babouch-Ty » on the ice. Couple of 20nm days are long and tiring, about 11 hours ...
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Day 73 – Good day!

Today is basically the opposite of yesterday and last night. The weather is friendly and we manage to cover 49nm in the right direction. We are aware that the season is ...
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Day 72 – Anxious night.

The wind is too strong to progress so we stay on our small patch of ice. No sailing today. We still drift, crazy!At least in the good direction towards Banks ...
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Day 71 – Alternative.

Today, we have decided to change our final destination. It is now the village of Sachs Harbor on Banks Islands. Why? Because crossing to Tuktoyaktuk means approx. 80nm in open water ...
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Day 68-69-70 – It isn’t over, yet.

We sail from 74*47 to 73*41 for the past 3 days. Our best progress is 93 nm in 30 hours! We go towards the SE along the ice edge. The ...
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Day 67 – We had to.

Guys, we had to leave our patch of ice and sail North!!! Geeezzzz!! Game isn’t over. Last night, eating a good “Chili con carne” inside our warm sleeping bag, we feel ...
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Day 65-66 – Looking for ice?

It’s 8.15am, morning of day 65, we leave camp. Full main sail but small foc. Seb goes “Against the wind today!”. Face masks are bound to be used... Off we sail, ...
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Day 64 – Arctic Magic.

There is no place I’d rather be when the sun shines on the polar ocean. The evening is gold. Precious. The « Babouch-Tyeam » progresses in the South, doing on average 50 to ...
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Day 62/63 – Saga to the South.

The Northern wind is pushing us down, sometimes up to 7,5knots. We are in the 75 degrees North! It’s crazy to think that few days ago we were at 79*35North ...
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Day 60/61 – Sailing, South.

Currently sailing. Just had a short 4 hours sleep. We want to take advantage of this tailwind as much as we can.Yesterday in 24h, we did the distance which took ...
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Day 59 – Few hours, 20nm.

It’s day 59. But it’s our day 1 going South, by choice. All the other time we went there, it was because of the drift. The wind is still blowing from ...
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Day 58 – Chocolate, coffee and cigars.

We stay at camp today. Well let’s put it this way. We haven’t moved ourselves but we have drifted North. We are currently at 79*35. 10nm further North. Indeed the ...
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Day 57 – Tough decision. We are turning back.

For the past 10-12 days, the wind has been blowing from the North significantly slowing our progression down. 14h/day were barely enough to cover 20+ nautical miles, without mentioning the ...
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Day 56 – 79*25

Today was good.However the wind is still blowing from the North. It’s important to remind that “Babouch-ty” doesn’t have an engine. The wind, only. And we are proud of it! ...
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Day 55 – Guys! 79 North 😉

Yes, the latitude 79 is now behind us. And despite that wind « hitting our noses straight », we cover 23nm in 14 hours. Oh I forget. The sun shines for few hours ...
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Day 54 – Tack o tack, part 2

Again it’s wet and grey. And foggy ;-). Great! 13,5 nm in 14hours tacking against that Northern wind. A mix of ice and water stretches. 10.49pm time to dry ourselves in the ...
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Day 53 – Tack o tack.

Yes! We keep it up. 24nm today. The wind is still blowing from the North, geeeezzzz!!! So we spend the whole day tacking and fighting the moisture. It’s grey and wet ...
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Day 52 – Start late, stop early. 3nm and 1 repair.

The wind is still blowing from the North. It carries a lot of moisture. It’s grey and wet. Nice ;-). We do 3nm towards the North and stop.That short day was ...
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Day 51 – Some wind, yes. Wrong direction, yes too.

6am, the Red Hot Chili Peppers song “Parallel Universe” goes on inside my sleeping bag. I am in charge of preparing breakfast. Porridge and dried food are now ready, and ...
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Day 50 – 15nm North, still.

We have been tacking the whole day. How many? Too many. Small channels of open water, large channels, we even have to push and pull back on the ice. The ...
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Day 49 – 78!!

The day goes quick. That headwind makes us tack quite often. We are on the water most of the day, just a few skiing runs. It’s 6.15pm, we just passed 78 ...
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Day 48 – Despite the headwind.

We still manage to sail 37nm. 2/3 are in the North! We are now at 77 degrees 38 minutes North. Feels good! We give our best. At the moment, we ...
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Day 47 – Half a degree.

Good day sailing! We do half a degree of latitude today, precisely 31nm. And the wind was against us! Eric and I are learning lots of good things from Seb ...
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Day 45/46 – 34 hours.

Non stop sailing for 34 hours and the great distance of 95nm. We are above 76North! And nearly touching 77North. Yeewww!We are camping on the ice since the wind died ...
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Day 44 – Next call tomorrow.

Hey guys, how is your 1st of August? On our side, it’s a day off. We stay at camp. Not because we need to rest though. The wind, blowing from the ...
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Day 43 – Finding the fine line.

Wind is blowing too much this morning so we let ourselves sleep. And we can! Especially since yesterday we did 70nm! Today’s about finding the right balance between making progress but ...
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Day 42 – Poncho, mittens and 75 degrees*!

*(Not the temp, the latitude ) 10pm, we are currently sailing. Eric is on watch, steering at 6 knots. Seb and I are sharing not even 2 square meters resting ...
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Day 41 – Let the rain fall

6am, the alarm rings. Feels colder this morning. We can see some ice that has accumulated on the ropes during the “night”. I write “night” since it’s 24h daylight up ...
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Day 40 – Middle summer snow

7am, the wind makes one of the rope louder and louder. Time to go on the water, wind is blowing from the South!Looks like it’s Christmas this morning as progressively ...
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Day 39 – Tacking to the North.

Light headwind all day. We are tacking, 70+ times during the day, with that wind blowing from the North. Except having to pull the boat on the ice in the ...
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Day 38 – Let the wind blow

The forecast was right, it’s blowing 20-25 knots. We stay where we are. «Babouch-ty» is anchored with two ice axes, one on each side, connected to a rope. 20-25 knots on ...
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Day 37 – The wind rises

The wind rises. The day is fun. We are quite busy on the deck, taking reefs, releasing, hosting the jib, taking it down, tacking, finding good passages... Few times, we ...
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Day 36 – 45nm

45nm. In the morning, some areas of the surface are frozen. The boat breaks the cristal and the small waves produced by the vessel travels under this thin layer of ice. We ...
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Day 35 – Sailing, sailing

Sailing, sailing. The alarm rings later this morning, at 9am since we went to to bed 6 hours before. We take a little more time because a light clic, clic, clic, ...
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Day 34 – We are sailing!

We are sailing! It’s 3.15am, we’ve been sailing the whole day for 17 hours. We are at 72 degrees North! Time for a sleep... Yeewww! ...
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Day 33 – 71 degrees North guys!!

71 degrees North guys!!23,6 nautical miles today. It starts pulling and pushing. It ends sailing and drinking tea. We cover 8nm on the ice in the morning and the afternoon. In ...
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Day 32 – Terrain improves, indeed

Terrain improves, indeed. We wake up nearly 10nm away from when we stopped last night. The drift is pushing us towards the SE. However, we still do 9,5 nm. We are progressing ...
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Day 31 – Cheddar mon amour

Cheddar mon amour. We are happy! The terrain is improving... and the wind is from the side blowing 20 knots pushing « Babouch-Ty » towards the North-East. By the end of the day, ...
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Day 30 – The show goes on

The show goes on, day 30. Once upon a time, 3 donkeys were pulling and pushing, sometimes forward sometimes reverse, a sail-ski boat on the sea ice of the Arctic Ocean ...
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Day 29 – Who’s got my book?

Who’s got my book? There is about 4 square meters in the cabin where we sleep. At the highest, it is 80 cm, not even 3 feet. It means that ...
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Day 28 – Terrain improves

Terrain improves. It’s another atmosphere this morning. The calm sunshine has left. It’s grey and a bit windy. The Ocean is still beautiful though, showing its power. We leave our small patch ...
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Day 27 – French Soccer!

French Soccer! Since the beginning of the expedition, I enjoy being in touch with my friends. Lately, I talked with Sylvain “LK”, one of my best buddy back home, about ...
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Day 26 – Water? Not yet.

Water? Not yet.The ice conditions in the North are improving. There is a change on the last sat photo showing some opening cracks. The open is still far away from ...
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Day 25 – Summer vacation

Summer vacation. Is it worth spending energy and eating a whole food ration if we can barely progress? Today we are off. The ice around us is still too soft to push ...
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Day 24 – Walking on eggs gets you wet

Walking on eggs gets you wet. The map received this morning still indicates a high concentration of ice surroundings us. Lots of ice has been pushed with the wind and the ...
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Day 23 – Inventory, shower and summer vacation

Inventory, shower and summer vacation. Seb and Eric go in the front scouting the route. I leave the boat and quickly get back to her to take the bear spray ...
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Day 22 – Giving our best

Giving our best.Beautiful morning, blue bird. It feels summer holidays here. How is your summer so far? The work out through the bumps continues today on day 22. It’s warm! We ...
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Day 21 – Slowly but North

Slowly but North. 1nm. What a Monday morning looks up here? Seb receives an ice chart showing the density of the ice. It takes our mood down as we clearly see ...
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Day 20!

Day 20! It’s another short day for us, here from the sea ice of the Beaufort Sea. We make some progress but the ice is still tough! So we decide to ...
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Day 19 – The right dose of exercice

The right dose of exercice. In the back of the boat this morning, we drink « un café en terrasse » while the sun warms the atmosphere. No rush today as we are ...
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Day 18 – 4nm today minus 2,3nm drifting = 1,7nm in the North

4nm today minus 2,3nm drifting = 1,7nm in the North. The fog is here in the morning and we sleep a little longer. In these conditions, we have the impression to ...
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Day 17 – A short day

A short day.Imagine going to sleep in one place and waking up on another. It’s pretty much what happened last night. Our patch of ice is still here but the ...
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Day 16 – Give it a try, you will know…

Give it a try, you will know...This morning the weather is grey, the visibility is poor and the wind blows 15-20 knots. The boat is moored on an ice patch ...
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Day 15 – The boat is where it belongs

The boat is where it belongs. Clic, clic, clic, clic... The light rain continues to drop until we wake up. The mist surrounds us but the sun isn’t far. It’s time ...
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Day 14 – 1,2nm. And 100 meters on the water like a proper boat 😉

1,2nm. And 100 meters on the water like a proper boat ;-).It’s calm here on the Arctic Ocean. The sun is up shining its magical morning light. It’s no country for ...
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Day 13 – 1 nautical mile, 9 hours

1 nautical mile, 9 hours. The time of flat and smooth ice is over. We encounter small bumps in the morning. When we were in the flat, I looked at the ...
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Day 12 – Straight towards broken ice

Straight towards broken ice. Morning. It’s time to leave Narwhal island and head North. At the begin, we follow a crack in the ice. Eric fells in the water, I fell ...
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Day 11 – AirDrop!

AirDrop! Instead of progressing on the ice, we are still in the bag. It’s 10am. Would you like a cup of Tea? The weather outside is still grey, foggy and ...
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Day 10 – 3 eggs make our day

3 eggs make our day. Yesterday during dinner, we sat in the cockpit of the boat. I received a message from Mike « We come tonight ». It was 8.38 pm. Happy, I ...
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Day 9 – Stand by at Narwhal island, still

Stand by at Narwhal island, still.We are nearly hibernating spending long hours in our sleeping bags. Books, musics, sleeping, cleaning the inside, adjusting the outside, walking on the island and ...
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Day 8 – Stand by in the fog, Narwhal island

Stand by in the fog, Narwhal island.We spend the day mainly in the boat. The wind increases and the boat becomes suddenly noisy. The visibility is poor.After this morning breakfast, ...
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Day 7 – Let’s wait for a change.

Let’s wait for a change. We still think of yesterday’s pressure ridge. All these blocks compressed going in all directions. Looked like these guys had too much drinks last winter! Above ...
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Day 6 – Impressions from the first pressure ridges

Impressions from the first pressure ridges.We leave Narwhal island on a pretty smooth ice. The sky is clear, the day is warm and the wind pretty low. It promises to ...
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Day 5 – Last piece of land, an island called Narwhal

Last piece of land, an island called Narwhal.We covered 6 nm. Our legs and arms work out hard as we progress through a beautiful day. Warm though. The very low ...
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Day 4 – Through the fog

Through the fog. 15nm, half on open water and half on the ice. And 6nm in the right direction, towards the Pole. For the ones following the journey, we are ...
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Day 3 – Mud is over

Mud is over. The ice has come. We spend the day looking for a way out of the delta of the “Sag river”. The fog is here and there. The ...
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Day 2 – It’s difficult to control in situation you can’t control

It’s difficult to control in situation you can’t control. We descended the « Sag » river for about 28 nautical miles. We sailed and paddled. Two in the front and one in ...
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Day 1

Last Saturday, Léa and I left each other at Paris airport, CDG. We had been working the whole week on a commercial shoot for Mercedes. The week was intense and ...
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