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Lots of boats come to Oriental, some tie up at the Town Dock for a night or two, others drop anchor in the harbor for a while. If you've spent any time on the water you know that every boat has a story. The Shipping News on TownDock.net brings you the stories of the boats that have visited recently.

A Sailing Vessel Bound For The Artic
April 27, 2017
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There will be some additions made before Berny’s son heads off from Boston.

“We have built an aluminum dodger for this boat. We also have solar panels and a wind generator. The other boat had solar panels but did not have a wind generator.”

Preparing for departure from Oriental on Saturday morning, March 25. Berny Peissel and a friend/crew member, Bob Lennox, work with the mainsail.
At left, recording the Town Dock surrounds is Berny’s nephew, Alexis Peissel, who was crewing on the delivery run to Boston. Alexis sailed across the Atlantic when he was two years old. “I learned to walk on a boat.” He lives in Hickory, NC now.

“By late June, the boat should be ready to go north. Nicolas will take it to Newfoundland to pick up the scientists at St. Johns who are going along.”

“A number of scientists will be on board for this next trip.” Berny says. “One of them thinks he has info about a wooly mammoth coming out of one of the glaciers. Another one wants to go to Wooly Island where fur hunters who lost a battle with the elements a century ago supposedly left a cache of furs. Last summer, an expedition to this area left buoys registering scientific material. One of the scientists making this trip will try to retrieve them and bring them back.”

Exiles sails under the Canadian flag. Berny Peissel was born in England. He spent 25 years as a television producer before retiring to begin a second career doing home renovations. He lives in Montreal and is a Commander in the Coast Guard Auxiliary for the St. Lawrence Seaway.

Then, it’s off toward the Beaufort Sea via the Northwest Passage.

“Once they arrive at Ulukhatuok, they will leave the boat there. Nicolas will assemble a new crew next year and return to Ulukhatuok in 2018 and take the Northwest Passage traveling east.”

And if it makes that Northwest Passage at the highest latitude ever for an unaided sailboat, Exiles will reinforce the point that Nicolas Peissel and crew made in 2012: that the arctic is melting at an alarming rate. Or as the crew put it then: “Our approach to sail across a historical stretch of water that has traditionally been frozen is meant to be a clear visual example of the extent of declining polar ice.”

Some might see an advantage in that. In its coverage of the 2012 expedition, the LA Times wrote, “Though environmentalists decry the shrinking polar ice caps — and coastal regions are already having to cope with the ominous (and expensive) rise of sea levels — the opening of the traditionally ice-blocked Northwest Passage would bring potentially lucrative new shipping routes.”

That gives Berny Peissel more pause. “The scientific community already knows that global warming is real. And, as more water melts, the oil companies are going to be searching for more oil; that’s not good. “

Berny Peissel on board_Exiles,_ while in Oriental in March. It is his son’s boat, but the sailing tradition in one he passed on, having built a 36-foot sailboat when his sons were young. After delivering Exiles to Boston, he is planning to build a multi-generational home in Montreal where Nicholas will also live.


Website about the upcoming expedition.

An account of the 2012 expedition

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Posted Thursday April 27, 2017 by Melinda Penkava

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