The Northwest Passage Today

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Selection of Images Taken During a Summer 2003 Transit of the Northwest Passage Aboard a Russian Icebreaker

[refer to the numbers on the above map for locations]

1: Chukchi Peninsula coast viewed from the Gulf of Anadyr in Siberia.

2: Scene near Yanrakynnot village on Chukchi Peninsula.

3: Big and Little Diomede in Bering Strait as seen from the north. They are about two miles apart, and the International Date Line runs between them. The larger island belongs to Russia, the smaller to the U.S.

4: Northwestern Alaska coast near Cape Lisbourne.

5: The northern coastline of Alaska as viewed from the ice-laden Beaufort Sea.

6: Pauline Cove on Herschel Island. In the 1890s, this was the home of the American whaling fleet. Today the island is a Canadian territorial park.

7: The Mackenzie Bay area in the Beaufort Sea.

8: The Smoking Hills, between Cape Bathurst and Franklin Bay, in Amundsen Gulf. As it becomes exposed to air, the bituminous shale in the cliffs ignites spontaneously.

9: View of islands in Coronation Gulf.

10: Near Victory Point on King William Island. It is here that the remaining survivors of Sir John Franklin's last expedition landed.

11: Pack-ice conditions in Larsen Sound, north of King William Island. Presumably, Sir John Franklin's ships, Erebus and Terror, were caught in such ice for nineteen months (Sept. 1846 - April 1848), slowly drifting south in it from Franklin Strait to near King William Island.

12: Approach to Bellot Strait from the west. The strait joins Peel Sound and Prince Regent Inlet and separates Somerset Island (left) from the Boothia Peninsula (right). The North American continent's most northern point lies in this strait.

13: Beechey Island, which is just off the southwest corner of Devon Island in Barrow Strait. The island figures prominently in the history of the Northwest Passage: several of Franklin's men were found buried here. It was also a general meeting place of many ships searching for the lost Franklin expedition.

14: Glacier on Devon Island as seen from Barrow Strait near Lancaster Sound.

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