They take dried reindeer steaks

Three Norwegians, Trond Aasvoll, Hans Fredrik Haukland and Finn Andreassen are attempting to circumnavigate the North Pole aboard RX II, a 36 foot Jerry Cartwright designed yacht built in 1977. Global warming has melted much sea ice and will help them sail the North East and the North West passage in one season.

Even with both passages open, the chances for success are marginal – the summer season is short and the distances are huge. Not only will they have to sail through one of the world’s most treacherous oceans, but they also have to do it at maximum speed before the winter catches up with them.

The North East passage is nearly ice free. Statistically this should happen by the end of September. The combination of a reduced presence of multi-year ice and a strong ocean current, washing the ice away from the Russian coastline north of Spitsbergen and through the Fram Strait, are the main reasons for favorable ice conditions experienced in the North East Passage. The North West Passage is not clear yet, but the ice-conditions are deteriorating.

Before they left Vardø on the border of Russia at the end of July the boat was loaded with extra diesel, food for two months, extra water, and a dried reindeer!

Statistically the North East passage opens mid August, while the North West passage closes end of September. This means they have approximately 45 days to get through the most critical distance off 3,125 nautical miles. They are hoping to manage 100 nautical miles a day.

You can follow the expedition here