Welcome to the MV GREY GOOSE Northwest Passage

Expedition Website


“The Northwest Passage did not exist, and so could not be discovered, until Europeans invented it.”

-         Ken McGoogan, author of Fatal Passage



What is the Northwest Passage? I think a picture is an effective presentation tool.

“A sea route across the Arctic from the Atlantic Ocean Arctic Circle to the Pacific Ocean Arctic Circle (Latitude 66.5622°N)”


(For a high resolution (9MB) zipped PDF Canada map click HERE)


My dream is to transit the Northwest Passage. After 26 years of voyaging more than 100,000 miles as a U.S. Coast Guard licensed Ocean Master there still remains a few places I’d like to travel.


The M/V (motor vessel) GREY GOOSE is preparing to return home to Astoria Oregon after completing the 5,000 nautical-mile GREAT LOOP and is looking for fellow boaters and adventurers to join us.



Are you ready to experience a private yacht cruising adventure?  Your ship may have just come in.



The 55 foot steel Motor Vessel GREY GOOSE ('GG') is planning to depart Mobile Alabama on a 10,000 nautical-mile voyage of discovery up the USA eastern seaboard, Canada and Greenland before staging at Pond Inlet Nunavut Canada to challenge the fabled Arctic Northwest Passage 'over the top' during the minimum ice season to Alaska then down through British Columbia's breathtaking 'Inside Passage' on the way to our homeport to Astoria Oregon. Departure is scheduled for May 14th. (See a detailed route and schedule link below) A deadline to make a firm commitment is set for December 1st. If there are less than 6 crewmembers making a commitment for the Northwest Passage ('NWP') then it may be cancelled and crewing for a 6,000 nautical-mile voyage south through the Panama Canal around to Astoria Oregon starting in January will be accepted. Be sure to indicate your availability for either the NWP or Panama Canal voyage when you email your details for consideration.



'GG' was purposely built in 2002 with heavy scantlings, i.e. 1/2" steel plate keel bottom enabling safer voyaging. Boat specifications and my curriculum vitae are posted below with a link for your review. Questions? Ask me. I'm happy to reply. I'm aboard "GG" outfitting in Mobile Alabama for a NW Passage. People definitely make the difference - a minimum number of crew to operate 24x7 in the cold Arctic with challenging weather and navigation conditions compared to a much less tropical winter weather around Latin America through the Panama Canal will determine which way are go home. I've always wanted to transit the NWP but I'm not going to the 'ends of the world' without like-minded adventurers with the 'right stuff'.


I'm using the 'share-a-ride' concept of sharing basic expenses to weed out freeloaders who are looking for five months of free room and board. Berths are also available on a portal-to-portal space available basis for those who cannot make the entire expedition from start to finish but would like to savor a little bit of the cruising romance and saltwater as a crewmember. I'm in Mobile on 'GG' working on the outfitting: i.e. spray urethane foam insulation, ESPAR hydronic heating system, watermaker, second head and shower to handle the 6 total crewing berths - I'm making a big commitment and pouring lots of hard work and money into this deep blue hole - I expect crew to make a commitment also - first come first serve, but no later than December 1st. Otherwise I'm going to sail south for the Panama Canal come January to prevent being trapped in the Gulf of Mexico during hurricane season which starts in June and runs to November each year - you do not want to be traveling through Latin America during tropical hurricane storms.


It's going to be a full boat - but that makes it affordable since the costs are divided between more crew - sharing this adventure with interested boaters is a win-win for everyone - this is a dream voyage of a lifetime. I'm also thinking about sharing it to inspire and educate school children by using satellite communications be it Skype voice chats and uploading voyage multimedia content to web and blog servers for world-wide distribution etc. Living this adventure vicariously over the Internet will have a great influence over students who love adventure, science and exploration. Dreams do come true!


Clickable thumbnail images of our websites and blogs:


http://www.greygooseadventures.com      http://northwestpassage2012.blogspot.com



I'm looking for crew members who have the 'right stuff' - Is that you?  This is also an opportunity to learn boating skills - so come join us - please consider this your official invitation.


Master's standing orders are posted on the website. If you have never heard of 'standing orders' then your marine education has taken a step forward today. This NWP Expedition and vessels underway require rules which are spelled out in black and white - we call them the "Master's Standing Orders'. They are specific rules given by the Master of the vessel to maintain a safe vessel for prevailing circumstances and conditions - we will be using a team approach during the voyage with a scheduled watch system and a designated watch captain who is selected by the Master. Watches will be dynamic based upon prevailing circumstances and conditions.





Successful completion of this Northwest Passage puts the vessel and crew into the history books and furthers your marine experience and resume. I expect a NWP will mean 'GG' and crew to be one of the first 100 or so private vessels to make the passage. For me, it celebrates my retirement after 27 years of sea duty as a USCG licensed Ocean Master of Motor and Steam vessels. Its time to smell the flowers and stop along the way less traveled... to explore, dream and discover with Admiral Michelle and our ship's mascot 'Blue Belle' the cat.


 Admiral Michelle                                       Blue Belle



If you are not serious about your duties and cannot perform them in an exacting way then the NWP is not the voyage for your skill set. Consider enjoying a more leisure Caribbean cruise. Don't get me wrong - if you are seriously looking to learn and seeking knowledge and hands-on experience then by all means ask to join - I will review each request and the total crew compliment for the best fit. 


Safety will always come first - we are not an ice breaker and will not be pushing ice - either it melts down to reasonable levels to allow us to navigate through or we can consider wintering over...lol.. did I get your attention yet? Don't worry, the ice has been at historic minimum for three years in a row - minimum ice navigation is expected again next year. Matter of fact, this 2011 minimum ice season was at a record low - nearly all ice melted early - 17 boats navigated Northwest Passages - see the link below to learn about their first hand experiences and adventures. Many are very informative and definitely colorful. The Arctic is not anything like you expect or have experienced before - some may call it 'mystical'. Come see for yourself on a private yacht which offers unique flexibility and up close adventures. I'm looking forward to skiffing ashore and walking around on beaches last visited by Explorers like Cook, Baffin, Davis, Frobisher, Franklin, Parry, McClure, Ross, Rae, Hudson, Belcher, Kotsubue, Vancouver, Peary, Byrd etc. The Arctic exploration history is fascinating. Did you know that 'Roald Amundsen' was not the first to complete a Northwest Passage? I have documented proof which will be shared during the voyage and a photograph of an 'Arctic Medal' presented by the Queen of England to the ‘Captain of the Forecastle’ aboard H.M.S. INVESTIGATOR to prove my research claims. I’m looking forward to meeting the Captain’s great grandson in the near future. We believe the Captain was also the first person to complete an ‘Around the America’s’ circumnavigation having departed from England then sailed around South America’s Cape Horn then north and through the Arctic Northwest Passage and back to England.


The ‘rest of the story’ can be read here: http://dysplastic-brain.blogspot.com/2010/07/investigator-found-in-shallow-water.html, http://www.thezephyr.com/backtrack/nwestpassage.htm,

http://genealogytrails.com/ill/warren/1903_his_6_war.htm#CALDER,_JOHN and

MP3 Audio clip by Fred Calder Jr., Great Grandson of Captain John Calder


John Calder,

Captain of the Forecastle on H.M.S. INVESTIGATOR 1850-54

under the command of Commander Robert McClure (McClure Arctic Expedition)


Housekeeping duties will be assigned on a weekly rotational basis - everyone will participate - there is no maid service but since we have a very nice full sized washer and a dryer along with a large capacity watermaker you will have an assigned weekly clothes & bedding wash day - if you are a slob or don't pickup after yourself - don't apply - with 6 persons aboard its tight quarters and everyone needs to be tidy and act like a responsible and respectful adult. There will be no he-she games or drugs allowed - zero tolerance. Please don't even joke or push my-buttons, I take all statements as a matter of fact since I have the paramount responsibility for the safety of the ship and crew. There is a time to play and a time to work - lets make this voyage a trip of a lifetime to remember and share with friends and family.







We are going to have a great voyage because we will be a crew working together to achieve our destination goals while sharing adventures and comradery that I expect will last a lifetime.


Your next step is to send me an e-mail – details about why you are interested, about yourself and what your future plans are after completing the voyage.


Welcome Aboard!




Meeting over pizza at Jimmys (Stanwood WA) to discuss SV OCEAN WATCH’s recent Northwest Passage are:

Captain Mark Schrader “OCEAN WATCH”

Admiral Michelle “GREY GOOSE”

Captain Douglas Pohl “GREY GOOSE”


Press release


For Immediate Distribution


Captain to Sail the Northwest Passage


Everett-based sea captain Douglas Pohl has announced his intention to sail his 55-foot expedition motor vessel, the GREY GOOSE, through the fabled – and dangerous – arctic waterway known as the Northwest Passage in the summer, and is offering four fellow boating adventurers “share-the-ride” berths for contributing to the expenses of the voyage.


Captain Pohl plans to leave from his outfitting port of Mobile, Alabama in May, and then sail northwards along the Atlantic coastline of the United States and Canada before crossing over to Greenland By late summer he expects to complete an east-to-west traverse of the Northwest Passage, and by the fall reach his new home port in Astoria, Oregon.


Potential crew mates may join Captain Pohl for the entire voyage, or board the Grey Goose for just a portal-to-portal leg of the voyage.


The Northwest Passage, coursing along the northern coastline of Canada and Alaska, is widely considered by mariners to be one of the most difficult sea passages in the world.  It has been ice-blocked throughout history, and only with the recent impact of global climate change has the waterway been free of ice long enough in the summer for a successful crossing.  In August 2012, twelve small vessels are reportedly traversing the Northwest Passage, and the waterway is expected to again be near ice-free next year in 2013.  Captain Pohl estimates that the Grey Goose will be one of the first hundred vessels in history to complete a single season passage of the fabled Northwest Passage.


“It’s a chance to do something that very few people have ever done,” said Pohl, adding that those who partake of the adventure will stand in an exclusive circle among nautical enthusiasts.


For more information, contact the Captain at cellphone (425) 971-5765, or e-mail: master (AT) greygooseadventures (DOT) com 


Visit the voyage website for details at: http://www.greygooseadventures.com/



The Northwest Passage Expedition Route is shown for 2012 below with 2013 about the same depending on advanced planning etc. 
REMEMBER: Mother nature, weather and ice along with boating and fishing opportunities will determine our actual route.

M/V GREY GOOSE PDF route file


Ready to join? The time to make a commitment has arrived - don't wait until the deadline and be disappointed - please e-mail or phone so we can mutually explore the possibilities ASAP.

The world is your oyster, come experience it first hand for yourself. Said even better by the great author, Mark Twain:


'Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you
didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from
the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.'
- Mark Twain


Links to More Information:


Where will you see this historic view of Today on the left and 20 hours ahead to Tomorrow on the right?
(Click image to see the answer)


TEST Sample mp3 Expedition 'bumper' music and embeded player:
(I'm planning on audio travel narratives and multi-media content)
(Please advise if this media player does not work with your browser)...

TEST - Featuring 'CBS Sunday Morning' (video) content on the SCHOONER STEPHAN TABER using an embedded player



More information or questions?



Visit the NWP Blog at: http://northwestpassage2012.blogspot.com/


Preview of the Arctic

Around the Americas aboard SV OCEAN WATCH
KomoNews - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_QMrNA2-_8

NatGeoTV - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=umAeFKF2uxA

BBC - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xEF66GRecQg

History - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KiKrYuuerAc