Where are the Seven Seas? It varies considerably. In fact, if the Seven Seas was a religious festival, it would be a moveable feast.
The fact is, that, at one time or another, this term has included bodies of water from the Sea of Galilee to the Gulf of Mexico, and from the South China Sea to the Arctic Ocean.
And now it seems there is to be a new addition to the family.
According to a new report in the Barents Observer, the Northeast Passage, now renamed the Northern Sea Route, will become the new shipping route between Europe and Asia, now that it’s proved to be ice-free.
The journey through the Arctic Ocean was a hazardous one when Finnish-Swedish explorer Adolf Erik Nordenskioeld made the 15-month journey in 1878-1879.
But this summer, Norwegian explorer Børge Ousland sailed the exact same route in his little trimaran. It took a few weeks instead of 15 months, and he hardly saw any ice. In fact, he hardly saw any living things at all.
The Russian and international shipping industry see the ongoing climate changes and the retreating of the summer ice-cap in the Arctic as a new opportunity.
The great boon, of course, is that, once the ice has gone, you can actually sail to the other side of the world instead of getting stuck inside a Russian version of Hudson Bay. Saves time, saves fuel, saves money.
Also, and this is where the report gets interesting, “the Arctic is free of pirates.”
Well, of course that would be the clincher, except that pirates, just like the good people at BoingBoing, are not famous for their sense of direction.
A band of Algerian web pirates recently raided Belvoir Castle
, the family seat of the 11th Duke of Rutland, mistaking its website for that of the
Crusader fortress of Belvoir in Israel.
Doubtless, the error stems from not realising that, in England, Belvoir is pronounced ‘Beaver’.
Heaven help them if they ever have to ask Mr. Featherstonehaugh for directions to Cholmondley!