Arctic Passages: A Unique Small-Boat Journey Through the Great Northern Waterway

John Bockstace, Author Hearst Books $22.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-688-08839-2
On Sept. 3, 1988, the yacht Belvedere and her crew rested offshore the massive granite headlands of Holsteinsborg Harbor in western Greenland at Davis Strait; having reached the eastern entrance to the Northwest Passage, they were the first to complete the voyage, west to east. Arctic archaeologist and historian Brockstoce had fulfilled a dream that began in Nome, Alaska, in 1972. There, with six companions he set out in a 32-foot-long umiak (a walrus-hide boat used by Eskimos) fitted with an outboard motor. During successive summers the group pushed eastward; in some years they were thwarted by ice. By 1980 they had reached Limestone Island near Lancaster Sound; the next stages would be through open, deep water. The umiak was suitable for sailing along the coast, but a sturdier craft was needed for navigating Baffin Bay and Davis Strait. Backstoce ( Wales, Ice and Men ) found a 60-foot-long steel-bottomed motor sailer, the Belvedere, for the final legs of the Passage. His account of this voyage combines superb adventure with an illuminating portrait of the Arctic. Photos. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1991
Release date: 04/01/1991
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