Archive for the ‘Bering Str Crossing 2010’ Category

First crossing of the Beringstrait on a Kite: Intro

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

First crossing of the Beringstrait on a Kite (2010)

Troy Henkels en Geza Scholtz will be the first to cross the Bering Strait on a kite.
www.weather4expeditions will advice them with the optimum day/time to start this challenging trip.
The Bering Strait  is a 56 mile stretch of water separating North America from Russia. The International Dateline runs down the center of the Bering Strait. This little part of the planet is characterized by high winds and crazy ocean currents which makes this mission extremely dangerous.

This challenge is taking place in the summer 2010. In the meantime www.weather4expeditions will inform you with interesting facts about climate and ocean currents in the Bering Strait.

troy20henkels1
Troy is an experienced adventurer who lives in Alaska. His passion for exploration has taken him to some of the harshest and most remote environments on Earth including the South Pole, Mount Everest, and the North Pole(April 2010).  In 2005, he attempted to walk from Alaska to Russia across the Bering Strait.  In 2007 he made history by becoming the first person to kiteboard in Antarctic waters.  And in 2008 he was the first to kiteboard on Alaska’s infamous and perilous Bore Tide on Turnagain Arm. www.TroyHenkels.com

geza
Geza is an avid traveler, having visited more than 30 countries, many of them on kiteboarding expeditions, including; Namibia, India, Morocco, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Egypt, and Venezuela, to name a few. He has been kiteboarding since 9 years, thus experiencing the changes and progression of the sport  His enthusiasm for extreme sports usually finds him snowboarding, wakeboarding, or downhill biking when he isn’t in the water kiteboarding.  When not traveling the world he lives in Zürich, Switzerland and works as a dentist.  Geza’s passion for extreme adventure is the driving force behind this expedition.

Kiting across the Bering Strait: debrief

Saturday, November 20th, 2010

photographs by Björn Detre

Last summer weather4expeditions.com supported a unique attempt to kite across the Bering Strait. Troy Henkels and Geza Scholtz were the first men to go for this challenge. Here is a short report and some photographs of their experience.

In August of 2010, Geza Scholtz and Troy Henkels attempted to be the first to kiteboard across the Bering Strait from Alaska to Russia. This stretch of water, although short on distance (100km), offers up some of the most challenging weather and ocean conditions on the planet. If this weren’t challenge enough, the logistics involved with an expedition to the far reaches of the north American continent and across the International date line into Russia are frustratingly complex.  None the less, Geza and Troy were able to get the required permits from the Russians and made several attempts to get across the Strait.  Initially, due to support boat engine failures their attempts were unsuccessful.  And, ultimately their final attempt proved unsuccessful as well, when they were turned back due to lack of wind after making it part way across the Strait.

So the challenge is still open. Anyone tempted?

Bering Strait Crossing: Forecast 27 August - day 22

Friday, August 27th, 2010

sat3

This is the latest sat shot from the Bering Strait area. Chaotic cloud patterns, no big wind or weather system in the vicinity. Click on the image to see the full display.

Bering Strait Crossing with Kites 27 Aug - day 22
Forecast is valid for the daylight hours: between 12utc and 04utc
Start=Wales Middle=Diomedes End=Russia

Day 1: 27 Aug
Wind:
Start: 110-130°8-12kt after 15utc becoming 170-190°8-12kt
Middle: 100-10°8-13kt after 15utc becoming 160-180°8-12kt
End: 090-110°5-10kt after 18utc becoming 160-180°5-10kt
Weather: very cloudy, with sunny spells, later very coudy to overcast with some rain or showery outbreaks

Day 2: 28 Aug
Wind:
Start: 200-220°5-10kt no significant change
Middle: 190-210°4-8kt no significant change
End: less than 5kt no significant change
Weather: sunny with scattered clouds, no precipitation.

Day 3: 29 Aug
Wind:
Start: less than 5kt after 18 utc becoming 340-360°8-12kt
Middle: less than 5kt after 15utc becoming 350-010°5-10kt
End: 340-360°5-10kt, no significant change
Weather: very cloudy to overcast with showery outbreaks

Latest weather report from Wales Airport
0800utc - 27 august
wind: calm
vsibility: 10 miles
sky: overcast
weather: nil
Temperature: XXXXX
Relative Humidity: XXX

Conclusion
Unfortunately, also during this period no window is eminent. The wind remains to weak during the whole period. The second day the wind drops away and turns to the Northerly sector the next day. But still the speed is not quite enough.
Hope for some better news tomorrow.

Bering Strait Crossing: Forecast 25 August - day 20

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

sat2kopie

Noaa 18 satellite image of the Bering Sea/Chukchi Sea area. This satellite shot shows us the active frontal system that extends over the Bering Sea via the Bering Strait towards the Chukchi Sea. This system embeds several wavetops. Those wavetops are area of moderate to heavy precipitation. Click on the image to see the image fully displayed.

Bering Strait Crossing with Kites 25 Aug - day 20
Forecast is valid for the daylight hours: between 12utc and 04utc
Start=Wales Middle=Diomedes End=Russia

Day 1: 25 Aug
Wind:
Start: 170-190°18-23kt after 21utc becoming 150-170°13-18kt
Middle: 180-200°20-25kt after 21utc becoming 150-170°13-18kt
End: 170-190°20-25kt after 21utc becoming 150-170°12-17kt
Weather: very cloudy to overcast with periods of light rain

Day 2: 26 Aug
Wind:
Start: 130-150°12-17kt after 21utc becoming 140-160°8-12kt
Middle: 130-150°14-19kt after 21utc becoming 140-160°12-16kt
End: 130-150°12-17kt after 21utc becoming 150-170°8-13kt
Weather: very cloudy to overcast with periods of rain/showery outbreaks and in between some shorlived sunny spells.

Day 3: 27 Aug
Wind:
Start: 120-140°8-13kt after 12utc becoming 130-150°13-18kt
Middle: 100-120°8-13kt after 12utc becoming 140-160°13-18kt
End: 080-100°8-12kt, no signicant change
Weather: very cloudy to overcast with periods of moderate rainfall

Latest weather report from Wales Airport
1100utc - 25 august
wind: 180°25g31kt
vsibility: 8 miles
sky: overcast
weather: light rain
Temperature: XXXXX
Relative Humidity: XXX

Conclusion
The next three days the weather looks very unsettled: squall or other perturbation lines come across and will introduce some very wet weather. At the same time every day shows a moderate wind, probably strong enough to kite. It is a balance between the conditions associated to the perturbations, poor visibility-rain, and the moderate wind conditions. Today pretty strong, slightly decreasing after 21utc. But certainly enough to do an attempt, if the weather is not too bad.
Tomorrow slightly less wind but still possible. If you try, go as soon as possible because after 21utc teh wind tends to drop at the Russian side.
The day after tomorrow the wind increases during the day, coming into kiting limits soon after 12/15utc. Altough moderate rain could trigger poor visibility conditions.

God speed!

Bering Strait Crossing: Forecast 23 August - day 18

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

map5

This map shows the situation valid for Tuesday at 1800utc. There is a Southerly current over the Bering Sea, resulting in a moderate to strong Southerly wind across the Bering Strait. Click on the image to see the full display.

Bering Strait Crossing with Kites 21 Aug - day 16
Forecast is valid for the daylight hours: between 12utc and 04utc
Start=Wales Middle=Diomedes End=Russia

Day 1: 23 Aug
Wind:
Start: 180-200°5-10kt after 18utc becoming 180-200°10-15kt
Middle: 180-200°8-12kt after 18utc becoming 180-200°10-15kt
End: 190-210°6-10kt after 18utc becoming 170-190°8-13kt
Weather: very cloudy, later sunny spells, no precipitation.

Day 2: 24 Aug
Wind:
Start: 190-210°12-17kt after 18/21utc becoming 170-190°12-16kt
Middle: 190-210°11-16kt after 21utc becoming 180-200°13-18kt
End: 200-220°6-10kt after 18/21utc becoming 180-200°13-18kt
Weather: sunny, scattered clouds, after 18/21utc gradually increasing and thickening cloud. First precipitation expected after 03/06utc on 25th.

Day 3: 25 Aug
Wind:
Start: 150-170°12-17kt after 18/21utc becoming 150-170°10-15kt
Middle: 160-180°13-18kt after 21utc 150-170°10-15kt
End: 160-180°11-16kt after 21utc becoming 140-160°8-13kt
Weather: overcast with periods of rain (warmfront), (slightly) improving after 21/24utc.

Latest weather report from Wales Airport
0900utc - 23 august
wind: 290°05kt
vsibility: 10 miles
sky: overcast
weather: nil
Temperature: 26°C/78°F!!!
Relative Humidity: 88%

Conclusion
Today the wind is expected to blow from the Southerly corner. It will increase but I am afraid it will remain just below the needed windspeed. Especially at the end point in Russia the wind seems to hesitate to increase. That will probably be the main problem today.
From my opinion tomorrow Tuesday looks the best day of the week. The plan i suggest goes as follows: You start between 15-18utc at Wales, the wind there at that time will be around 14-15kt average. So you’ll be at Diomedes between 18 and 21utc: by than the wind at that location should have become around 15kt as well. You arrive in Russia between 24 and 03utc, by than the wind has increased to 15kt average as well.
Wednesday again looks possible if the rain is not too heavy/visibility. But than you need to start as early as possible as the wind tends to decrease after 18/21utc.

God speed!

Bering Strait Crossing: Forecast 22 Aug - day 17

Sunday, August 22nd, 2010

map4

Bering Strait Crossing with Kites 21 Aug - day 16
Forecast is valid for the daylight hours: between 12utc and 04utc
Start=Wales Middle=Diomedes End=Russia

Day 1: 22 Aug
Wind:
Start: 310-330°4-8kt after 21utc becoming 250-270°4-8kt
Middle: 310-330°4-8kt after 21utc becoming 230-250°4-8kt
End: 300-320°3-7kt after 18utc becoming less than 4kt
Weather: sunny spells, scattered clouds.

Day 2: 23 Aug
Wind:
Start: 190-210°8-12kt after 18utc becoming 190-210°12-16kt
Middle: 190-210°8-12kt after 18utc becoming 200-220°12-16kt
End: 190-210°6-10kt after 18utc becoming 190-210°10-15kt
Weather: sunny, scattered clouds

Day 3: 24 Aug
Wind:
Start: 190-210°12-16kt no significant change
Middle: 200-220°13-18ktno significant change
End: 200-220°8-12kt after 18utc becoming 180-200°12-16kt
Weather: sunny spells but gradually increasing and thickening cloudiness, no precip.

Latest weather report from Wales Airport
0600utc - 22 august
wind: 020°04kt
vsibility: 10 miles
sky: overcast
weather: nil
Temperature: 22°C/72°F
Relative Humidity: 90%

Conclusion
As expected yesterday today the wind will be far too weak to get the kites out. Overnight it will drop completely and turn to the Southerly sector. Than it becomes interesting. I would say that we keep both Monday and Tuesday as an option to start the crossing. On Monday it starts rather weak but is should increase. Probably it will become into limits after 15/18utc, so depending if enough time is left you could start on Monday.
But also Tuesday is an option. At this stage the wind on Tuesday is pretty steady during all day and over the whole stretch. The speed could be better but i think this offers some possibilities.

God speed!

Bering Strait Crossing: Forecast 21 August - day 16

Saturday, August 21st, 2010

sat1

This is a Infra Red satellite image of the Bering Sea and the Chuckchi Sea area. This is a thermal picture which means that the dark parts are warm and the brighter parts cold. So if you look at the Bering Strait than you see it is covered by darkish cloud. This means those clouds are rather warmer, thus low to the ground/sea. SO most likely the strait is covered by low clouds or maybe even fog. Image from NSW

Bering Strait Crossing with Kites 21 Aug - day 16
Forecast is valid for the daylight hours: between 12utc and 04utc
Start=Wales Middle=Diomedes End=Russia

Day 1: 21 Aug
Wind:
Start: 010-030°5-10kt after 18/21utc becoming 350-010°10-15kt
Middle: 360-020°8-12kt after 18/21utc becoming 350-010°10-15kt
End: 340-360°5-10kt after 18/21utc becoming 350-010°10-15kt
Weather: low cloud cover, no precipitation. Maybe a few sunny spells later.

Day 2: 22 Aug
Wind:
Start: 340-360°10-15kt after 18utc becoming less than 5kt
Middle: 340-360°10-15kt after 18utc gradually becoming less than 5kt
End: 330-similar as previous day: low clouds/sunny spells

Day 3: 23 Aug
Wind:
Start: 200-220°5-10kt after 18utc becoming 190-210°10-15kt
Middle: 200-220°7-12kt after 18utc becoming 190-210°10-15kt
End: 190-210°6-10kt after 18utc becoming 190-210°10-15kt
Weather: gradually increasing and thickening cloudiness, no precip.

Latest weather report from Wales Airport
0800utc - 21 august
wind: 020°07kt
vsibility: 10 miles
sky: overcast
weather: nil
Temperature: 22°C/72°F
Relative Humidity: 90%

Conclusion
Today and tomorrow still Northerly winds dropping away tomorrow afternoon/evening, during the night from Sunday on Monday turning to the South and steadily increasing on Monday. So today the wind will increase to an average speed of about 10-15kt, i would say just below the limit to do an attempt. Tomorrow will start with similar conditions, 10-15kt, but gradually decreasing to drop away as earlier said. This means that tomorrow there is as good as no chance.
From Monday onwards situation starts changing: the wind blows from the Southerly corner and will slowly increase during the day of Monday. At this stage i would say that Monday it will still be very on the limit to start but it looks like Tuesday will be good. The wind further increases on Mondaynight and so Tuesday the wind should blow with a speed of about 15-20kt. Later, towards Wednesday the poor weather will come in as well but it looks like there is a window when wind should be good and no poor weather yet. But this has still to be confirmed by tomorrows forecast.

Bering Strait Crossing: Forecast 20 August - day 15

Friday, August 20th, 2010

map3

The Bering Strait is the separation between the Chukchi Sea in the North and the Bering Sea in the South; At the same time it seperates Alaska and Russia with only 50 miles. This passage is subject to the most variable and extreme weather and on top of this the underwater currents there are almost impredicatable. The little island just in the middle is Russian and is called Diomedes. The larger Island to the South is St Lawrence and is American territory. Troy and Geza need the right winds (about 20kt average) for about 6 hours to cross this strait. At this stage the depression are coming across too far South so the wind remains too weak to do an attempt. Click on the image to see the full display.

Bering Strait Crossing with Kites 20 Aug - day 15
Forecast is valid for the daylight hours: between 12utc and 04utc
Start=Wales Middle=Diomedes End=Russia

Day 1: 20 Aug
Wind:
Start: 010-030°6-10kt no significant change
Middle: 010-030°8-12kt no significant change
End: 360-020°5-10kt no significant change
Weather: very cloudy to overcast, no precipitation. After 18utc, enlarging sunny spells

Day 2: 21 Aug
Wind:
Start: 360-020°5-10kt after 18utc becoming 340-360°8-13kt
Middle: 360-020°8-12kt no significant change
End: 350-010°5-10kt no significant change
Weather: sunny spells, dry.

Day 3: 22 Aug
Wind:
Start: 340-360°8-12kt after 18utc becoming less than 5kt
Middle: 330-350°5-10kt after 18utc becoming less than 5kt
End: 330-350°4-8kt after 15/18utc becoming less than 5kt
Weather: sunny with scattered clouds

Latest weather report from Wales Airport
0830utc - 20 august
wind: 070°10kt
vsibility: 10 miles
sky: overcast
weather: nil
Temperature: 21°C/67°F
Relative Humidity: 88%

Conclusion
During this period no workable window is expected. Wind is general too weak, and if increasing it is only for a shorter while. Hope i will bring better news tomorrow.

Bering Strait Crossing: Forecast 10 August-day 3

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

map2

To do a succesfull crossing of the Bering Strait by kite you not only need to be extremely fit and skilled, but you also need to be utterly patient: the ideal weather window (Southerly/Northerly wind of about 25kt and good visibility for at least 6 hours) is a rare phenomenon in that part of the world. Not likely to happen over the next few days:

Bering Strait Crossing with Kites 10 Aug - day 5
Forecast is valid for the daylight hours: between 12utc and 04utc
Start=Wales Middle=Diomedes End=Russia

Day 1: 10 Aug
Wind:
Start: 010-030°4-8kt after 18/21utc becoming 350-010°less than 5kt
Middle: 350-010°8-13kt, no significant change
End: 340-360°10-15kt no significant change
Weather: very cloudy to overcast with some rain or showery outbreaks.

Day 2: 11 Aug
Wind:
Start: less than 5kt from variable directions after 18utc becoming 180-200°5-10kt
Middle: less than 5kt from variable directions, no significant change
End: 010-030°4-8kt after 18utc becoming less than 5kt from variable directions
Weather: cloudy with sunny spells, possibly a shower

Day 3: 12 Aug
Wind:
Start: 190-210°4-8kt after 21utc becoming 190-210°8-13kt
Middle: less than 5kt from variable directions after 18/21utc becoming 180-200°5-10kt
End: less than 5kt from variable directions, no significant change
Weather: very cloudy to overcast with rain/showers

Latest weather report from Wales Airport
08utc - 10 august
wind: calm
vsibility: 10 miles
sky: overcast
weather: no precipitation
Temperature: 16°C/60°F

Conclusion
According to my latest products, there is no obvious window to do the trip. Wind changes quite significantly from West to East and is in general too weak.

Bering Strait Crossing: Forecast 8 August - day 1

Sunday, August 8th, 2010

map1

Troy and Geza arrived in Wales, Alaska. They are ready to do the first ever crossing of the Bering Strait by kites! This 50 miles stretch between the United States and Russia is well known for its dangerous currents and unpredictable weather. That is up to now: from today onwards weather4expeditions is going to predict the ideal weather window for the guys to kite from the States to Russia. Godspeed! Click on the Image to see the full display: synoptic situation valid 09 Aug

Bering Strait Crossing with Kites 08 Aug - day 3
Forecast is valid for the daylight hours: between 12utc and 04utc
Start=Wales/Middle=Diomedes/End=Russia

Day 1: 08 Aug
Wind:
Start: 360-020°8-13kt after 18/21utc becoming 020-040°14-18kt
Middle: 010-030°10-15kt after 18/21utc becoming 010-030°16-20kt
End: 340-020°8-13kt after 21utc becoming 010-030°13-18kt
Weather: overcast becoming alternating clouds and sunny spells, dry.

Day 2: 09 Aug
Wind:
Start: 060-080°15-20kt after 15utc becoming 070-090°5-10kt
Middle: 060-080°17-22kt after 15utc becoming 050-070°5-10kt
End: 030-050°13-18kt after 18utc becoming 040-060°6-10kt
Weather: overcast with periods of rain, tempo poor visibility

Day 3: 10 Aug
Wind:
Start: 080-100°6-10kt after 18utc becoming less than 6kt from variable directions
Middle: 050-070°8-12kt after 18utc becoming less than 6kt from variable directions
End: 020-040°8-12kt after 18utc becoming 020-040°5-10kt
Weather: sunny spells alternating cloudy periods with showery outbreaks

Latest weather report from Wales Airport
07utc - 08 august
wind: 060°12kt
vsibility: 10 miles
sky: overcast
weather: no precipitation
Temperature: 9°C/49°F

Conclusion
As from this forecast i would say that today would have been a good day: increasing wind during the daytime, around Diomedes up to maximum 20kt average (gust 30-35kt)
Tomorrow in general decreasing winds after 15/18utc but also poor weather conditions, rain and probably poor visibility.
The day after tomorrow: showery outbreaks but the wind will probably decrease significantly during the daytime.

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