"Ships came into our harbour..." The inhabitants of the small Eskimo village of Pond Inlet in the vast but sparsely populated Canadian territory of Nunavut are definitely not used to such spectacles. It's a 126-footer "Octopus."One of the ten largest private yachts in the world, Microsoft co-owner Paul Allen's favorite toy, stood in Port Innlet for five days before leaving as quietly as she came.
Having given the villagers a theme to talk about a year in advance, the large expedition boat majestically moved north because the owner of the boat had the idea of making an unprecedented journey. According to CBS News, the yacht will go around Greenland and go "over" Canada to Alaska, approaching the legendary Northern Sea Route, where up to now only Russian "trucks", and those under the escort of nuclear-powered icebreakers. The route, for a moment, passes five hundred miles north of the Arctic Circle.
Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) officials have already confirmed that the Octopus crew has officially applied for the passage over Canada's northern coast.
In general, private yachts are a rare sight even in Canadian Arctic waters, not to mention the Arctic Ocean. Much more often you can see there container ships and huge cruise liners, carrying hunters to the frosty exotic tourists. Hiking in these places can be dangerous even for big ships. Only at the end of August, two large ships ran aground there. On one of them - the cruise ship Clipper Adventurer - 118 passengers had to sunbathe on deck for two days under the Arctic sun, waiting for the rescue of the Canadian ice-breaker.
Octopus residents plan to avoid such adventures, hoping for a strong, specially reinforced hull, advanced navigation aids and, not least, a helicopter hangar and two landing sites on deck. However, even if the boat gets stuck for a while, the fate of the Chelyuskinites clearly does not threaten idle tourists. On the yacht, where there is room for a seaplane and a small submarine, they are unlikely to get bored. And the time spent in the open deck Jacuzzi overlooking the Arctic Ocean, and will be the object of black envy of all who will then listen to enthusiastic stories.
In principle, we can already talk about a new trend in yachting preferences of the rich and famous. Tired of splashing in the crowded, familiar as the old sideboard, the Mediterranean, owners and captains of serious boats are increasingly turning their eyes to the northern latitudes in search of new routes and experiences.
And on the Northwest Sea Route there is now a formal race for the right to be called the first private yacht to overcome the legendary route. Last year the press wrote about the construction of the expeditionary Big Fish from the New Zealand Aquos. The ship was specially built for the conquest of northern latitudes and the company has devoted more than one press release to the fact that Big Fish will be the first yacht in the world, which passed the Northern route. The yacht is now on her way around the world and is expected to be completed in September 2011.