Your Marine Products Analysts Help You to Find Your Way Around Those Icy Waters
Raritan Engineering would like to keep you posted on marine products and also wants to show you the ropes for sailing in Siberia’s icy waters.
The otherworldly landscape of flat ice and consistent breeze makes Russia’s Lake Baikal in southern Siberia and ideal ice-sailing destination.
At over 5,000 feet deep, Lake Baikal is the deepest lake in the world and the largest by volume, holding approximately 20 percent of Earth’s unfrozen fresh water, more than all the Great Lakes combined. The lake formed from a rift valley in the heart of Siberia 25 million years ago.
Proper ice sailing is best performed on smooth ice with consistent winds, conditions most often found along the so-called Ice Belt, between 40 and 50 degrees N. With its dry climate and extremely long winters, Baikal is basically ice-sailing nirvana. The vast landscape is raw, remote and unspoiled. It’s far off the grid.
Because of such high speeds, conducting safe races is of the utmost importance. If a boat capsizes, hits a hole in the ice, or smashes into something, the skipper gets ejected and slides across the ice like a curling stone.
Your Marine Products Experts Want You to Avoid Midrace Collisions While Out On the Frozen Water
Your marine products professionals know that to prevent midrace collisions, racers line up side by side, with half the fleet required to go left and the other half right. Courses are typically windward/leeward, with exclusion zones around the buoys to prevent kamikaze layline approaches.
Sailing on the East Siberian Sea, this is the coldest day of our journey. The water temperature is 0 degrees, with only the salt in the water keeping it from freezing. But it is the humidity which is the problem as almost everything outside the pit is frozen: the deck, the shoots, ropes, sails, mast, camera, etc.
Most of our weather instruments at the top of the mast do not work, so we can only depend on the GPS and the digital weather models instead.
On the satellite pictures we can see that we are very near to the ice edge. So we are very carefully and check the radar in a frequent manner. When we did see the ice edge, it was a big white stripe at the horizon with no end.
I journeyed to Baikal to shoot a Waterlust film about how ice sailors are uniquely sensitive to Earth’s climate. As a scientist, I’m fascinated by their perspectives; many have been competing for three decades. The dramatic reduction in sailable ice throughout Europe during this time has greatly affected the sport, and the creep of global warming means that many sailors must travel farther north and east to find good ice.
Visit us at http://raritaneng.com/ and see how Raritan Engineering has more information on marine products and on how to successfully manage the icy waters of Siberia.