Victor Wejer: Northwest Passage – ograniczenia w żegludze jachtowej ?

Niewiele jest akwenów wodnych na świecie, które tak mocno rozpalają wyobraźnię i są nadal wyzwaniem dla wielu szukających trudów i niecodziennych wrażeń żeglarzy jak owiane mgiełką tajemnicy, legendy i nadal niewiadomego, znajdujące się w kanadyjskiej Arktyce Przejście Północno-Zachodnie – Northwest Passage. Tegoroczny sezon nawigacyjny na akwenach NWP obfitował w wyjątkowo liczne eskapady żeglarzy. Wśród nich rejs Yvana Bourgnone’a, szwajcarskiego podróżnika, na zaledwie sześciometrowym, odkrytopokładowym katamaranie wywołał falę krytyki i reakcję w parlamencie kanadyjskim. Rząd kanadyjski zapowiedział wprowadzenie ograniczeń i obostrzeń dla jachtów turystycznych zamierzających żeglować NWP.

W internetowym wydaniu Yacht online (XI 2017) ukazał się tekst Victora Wejera, od lat monitorującego sytuację żeglugową jachtów w NWP, a przede wszystkim służącego cennymi radami żeglarzom podejmującym wyzwanie.

Poniżej zamieszczamy, ze skrótami, angielską wersję tekstu przesłaną do przez V. Wejera.                           (zs)


Northwest Passage

Die wilden Jahre sind vorbei

Zu viel Show, zu viel Wagnis: Nach einer Rekordzahl von Transiten durch den arktischen Seeweg diskutiert Kanada drastische Reglementierungen für Segler

Too much show, too much risk: After a record number of transits through the Arctic sea, Canada discusses drastic regulations for sailors

The current edition of the YACHT is dedicated to a topic of the Northwest Passage. 23 yachts and boats have mastered the legendary sea route this year, more than ever. This record is unlikely to be broken in the near future, and this is not due to the rather poor prediction that above-average levels of Arctic ice in the passage are expected in 2018. Rather, it is the reaction of the Canadian authorities to what happened this summer.

clip_image002  Passages Pope Victor Wejer

The Canadian Victor Wejer, 76, is a kind of turf pope. The engineer, who now lives in Toronto, was taken to the Arctic waters in the early 1970s, where he worked for the petrochemical industry. Hardly anyone should be more familiar with the peculiarities and peculiarities of the area. To this day, Wejer, who started sailing at the age of 16 ( w Jacht Klubie AZS Szczecin, Polska – przyp. red.), looks after skippers and crews who want to travel through the Northwest Passage. He provides them with free weather and ice information, with tips on equipment and anchorages and guides them through the critical sections. In 2016, Wejer – author of the area’s main tour guide and the annually updated „Yachtsmen Routing Guide” – has been awarded the „Award of Merit” by the British Blue Water Association Ocean Cruising Club for his services. A true luminary on the subject, and someone who does not shy away from a clear word.

As a rule, he tries to dissuade sailors who are seeking his advice from this trip: „I strongly advise most people to stay away from here. You have to bring (for this trip, d. Red.) The right attitude. This is not an adventure, but a dangerous trip for those who are not properly equipped. „Wejer’s credo is:” At the end of a perfect passage, there are no stories to tell. No problem. No difficulties. No disasters. Adventure is a sign of incompetence. ”

However, these signs seem to increase. In the current YACHT Skipper Jochen Winter describes what he noticed during his passage this year: sailors who – contrary to Wejers demand – apparently ill-prepared, equipped with poor communication facilities or for this use in doubt unsuitable GRP yachts were traveling in the high latitudes. And the drifting of another is obviously a thorn in the side of the Canadian authorities. We are talking about Yvan Bourgnon, the Swiss adventurer, who also reports in the YACHT of his ride through the Northwest Passage – on a six-meter-long open sports catamaran.

clip_image003  Wejer (r.) at a cruise advice

According to Wejer, Bourgnon’s daring trip is widely considered a „disgrace” among connoisseurs of the area. In addition, the Swiss should have handled the Canadian border formalities to YACHT information a bit too casual, which additionally brought the local authorities on battlements. The government is now considering introducing high bureaucratic hurdles – the wild years seem over.

This development is being driven by Dennis Patterson, 69, Senator and former Prime Minister of the Northwest Territories. In a guest post for the National Post, he announced last Thursday the creation of a Senate committee to deal with the development in Canada’s north. Many pleasure boats, the Senator said, have caused „very expensive search and rescue operations,” which in the end the Canadian taxpayer would have to face. Besides, it has happened that icebreakers had to help trapped yachts back into clear water. And territorial expert Wejer notes that in the treacherous sea area „every year” there are basic touches of sport boats, „that’s normal”. Some, however, had only gone lucky with luck.

For new security and surveillance measures, Transport Minister Marc Garneau has already announced investments of 175 million Canadian dollars (about 118 million euros). The following restrictions on recreational craft are currently under discussion:

  • Obligation to register all sailboats wishing to sail the Northwest Passage,
  • submission of a charter plan subject to a permit,
  • inspection of the yachts,
  • monitoring the passage,
  • obligatory insurance to cover costs in emergencies

clip_image004 One of Wejer’s clients is Blue Water pioneer Jimmy Cornell (r.)

In any case, Wejer expects „serious consequences” for future sailing yacht transits. Erich Wilts, who also sailed through the passage with his „Freydis” this year, sounds rather relieved when he says, „We’ve had a pig, we’ve been spared all that.”

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________   Wojciech Wiktor Wejerur. 1942r, w Warszawie, inżynier mechanik (University of Alberta, Edmonton, Kanada), z Polski wyjechał w 1967r, od 1969r w Kanadzie; żeglował w Szczecinie w klubie Pogoń i w JK AZS; z powodzeniem startował w regatach – Cadet, Finn; w Kanadzie praca w Arktyce w przemyśle naftowym; od wielu lat wspomaga w nawigacji żeglarzy pływających w Arktyce, przez Northwest Passage; autor locji żeglarskich rejonów arktycznych; w 2015 nominowany do nagrody Ocean Cruising Club: Merit Award i nagrodzony.