August 31 and Sept. 1 Updates Below
h/t to angech for asking an interesting question: What are the chances of an early refreezing in the Northwest Passage? It provoked me to look more into the recent history of ice extents in the CAA (Canadian Arctic Archipelago).
The image above shows the years in the last decade closest to 2017 in terms of ice present in the CAA. Only 2014 had more ice in that region than this year: 513k km2 compared to 464k km2 at day 240. It appears that CAA annual minimum typically occurs at day 260, the same as the overall NH minimum. The image above also shows that 2009 with 388k km2 provides the closest analog to this year for the amount of ice in McClintock Bay just in front of Serenity. The image below gives the progression in 2009 from day 244 to 270.
As of 10:30 EST this morning Serenity is located as shown in image below along with ice extent reported by MASIE for yesterday. Ship tracking is provided by marinevesseltraffic.com and shows that Serenity is now in convoy with two icebreakers ahead of her.
Serenity will make it through with such assistance, which was largely unnecessary last year. And as the above shows, 2014 would have been close to impossible.
UPDATE 16:30 EST
The convoy has reached the southern tip of Prince of Wales Island and are turning northeast. It appears they will sail along the thin shore ice, presumably headed for the western entrance of Bellot Strait which passes through to Prince Regent channel.
UPDATE 7:00AM EST AUG. 31
Serenity convoy is about to enter Bellot Strait. Waiting for a cargo ship to exit the channel.
UPDATE 9:00AM EST Aug. 31
Cruisemapper shows Serenity has entered the Strait following her icebreaker.
Update 12:00 PM EST Aug. 31
Serenity and icebreaker escort have emerged from Bellot Strait into Prince Regent channel and are turning north. Next destination may well be Devon Island with some interesting things that were seen last year. See Mars in the Arctic
Update 7:00 AM EST Sept. 1, 2017
Serenity and icebreaker are anchored just off Beechey Island at the southwestern tip of Devon Island.