Hard Water Riding

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Typical for New England, the super cold Arctic blast chilled down the harbors, ponds and bones of all of us who enjoy the water -even in the winter – turning them to rock solid ice – and then it was gone. But while it lasted – some 2+ weeks, there were plenty of us who grabbed our skates, kites and iceboats and RAN to these frozen places. Most know it doesn’t last, and in many winters it doesn’t even arrive once. So when you get a few weeks to play with your ice toys – you better make the most of it.  Continue reading

KiteWing: Flying on Ice

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Right alongside foiling SUP boards, kite foiling and flying boats comes this cool video from former TotalBoat Intern and super video maker, Annie Tuthill. Annie loves to fly on ice with her Kitewing sail which can be used with skis, as she does, or with skates, rollerblades or even snowboards. Watch this video and then picture yourself flying with a Kitewing over snowbanks, frozen lakes or even with a skateboard! (although not condoned apparently by Kitewing…) I mean who doesn’t want to harness the power of the wind to go faster on land, hard water or even pavement?  Continue reading

Adventures with Icebergs and GoPros (and a cool sailboat…)

So maybe you never want to climb an iceberg….or explore the far reaches of our globe. the high latitudes are rumored to be stunning – even more so in real life than in this cool video with ultra beautiful 4k GoPro footage. And should you be one of these crazies who does want to scale icebergs  – you better have a great support boat nearby.

We love boats around here – not icebergs, truthfully. And while not every TotalBoater will explore these remote areas, we can all dream and better yet get a lift there via dazzling YouTube videos documenting it all.  Adventure is out there – and even if you’re a landlubber or if you’re stuck in a dusty wood shop or boat shed – we hope you find time to seek and enjoy plenty of adventure. And mostly we hope your adventures involve boats…forget the icebergs….

But even if you don’t care a lick about ice climbing (count me in that category), the footage is stunning from these well camera-ed up climbers. Complete with a drone and about 4 cameras (by my count) on each climber, this remote area is very inviting for an adventure. And if you agree, then by boat is pretty much the only way to go…that is if you want the ultimate adventure which, we know, is always based on a boat!

The USCG Cutter Healy in the Arctic

The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy, the newest and most high-tech U.S. polar icebreaker, reached the North Pole on Sept. 5, making it the first U.S. surface ship to do so unaccompanied and only the fourth time an American surface vessel has reached the North Pole ever.

The cutter reached its destination after 28 days at sea, Alaska Dispatch News reported Sept. 8. The last time a U.S. surface ship made it to the North Pole was 10 years ago with the help of a Swedish icebreaker.

The boat, which is typically ported in Seattle, carried 145 people to the Arctic for a National Science Foundation-funded expedition in support of GEOTRACES, an international project that seeks to better understand the world’s oceans, according to a Sept. 8 announcement from the Coast Guard. Scientists will study the Arctic Ocean in the hopes capturing baseline measurements of air, ice, snow, sea water, meltwater and ocean bottom sediment, according to the press release.

The ship has more than 4,200 square feet of lab space to support scientific missions. Commissioned in 1999, the science community helped shape the layout and design of the vessel, says the Coast Guard.

Earlier this month, while visiting Alaska, President Obama announced that the government would accelerate the purchase of new Coast Guard icebreakers.

Heather Conley, senior vice president for Europe, Eurasia and the Arctic at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, called Obama’s announcement “welcome news”, in commentary published Sept. 1.  Conley noted that the Healy is just one of two functional icebreakers, a heavy-ice breaker called the Polar Star is the other. A third is in “drydock disrepair” being “cannibalized for parts.”