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BJV
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Not personally, but been a fair number of boats cruise Newfoundland, and a few have been North of 60 around Baffin and Greenland. Recently was a sailor who did the NW passage.
lots of boats cruise to alaska as well, was in Ualaska in Sep and saw at least 8 sailboats at dock.
 

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Bristol 45.5 - AiniA
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Saw the northern lights on an overnight passage up Lake Huron in July one year. Not that far north (around 44N)
 

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Bombay Explorer 44
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It is not unusual to see the Northern Lights in Scotland I used to live there and have seen them several times but never from a boat.

A cruise to the Shetlands or better still to Norway would increase your chsnces.
 

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I've seen them several times in the northern parts of North Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin (never from a boat though). I remember once I was camping on the south shore of Lake Superior and there was a beautiful display in the sky and reflected on the lake. That's all below 49º, I think if the conditions are right and you're away from city light you don't have to be all that far north.
 

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Old soul
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We see them quite regularly up here on the north shore of Lake Superior (Northwestern Ontario). Sadly, I've yet to had a good display from our boat, just some silver shimmer. I've seen the full colour dance a few times. Always amazing.

Interestingly, we're apparently near the peak of the solar 11-year cycle, yet I've seen almost no displays. Perhaps I'm older this cycle, so am going to bed too early, but it has been a dud for me so far.
 

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I have spent a fair amount of time in Neewfoundland, on shore and on boat and not seen them.

I think it's been a very quiet sun for a long time with it only now becoming active again.
 

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Old soul
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Despite being at the solar activity max right now I really haven't seen many aurora displays recently. I live south of the prime active zone, but am close. During the last cycle (11ish years ago) I recall seeing many displays. They became so common that nothing but full colour was even worth going outside to watch. But this cycle has been a bust for me.

One observation (or lack, in my case) does not mean much, but I am curious what others are seeing (or not seeing).

Here's a useful forecasting website I came across.
 

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Off the top of my head, in 1859 (Sept?) northern lights were visible as far south as Tahiti and Cuba. At the same time in New England they could read newspapers at night by the light of the northern lights. Carrington event? A major coronal mass ejection telescopically spotted erupting about two days before it hit earth.

Being closer to the poles is best, but you still need an active sun to see the lights.

The sun was predicted to become increasingly active, but instead has quieted down to the quietest in a 100 or more years. They no longer talk about the failed forecast, but I remember it clearly. So you need to go really far north, and you will not see anything special. Even if near the peak, this cycle is a dud. I've seen a Russian paper examining this and predicting a gradual descent into another mini ice age.

The quiet sun puts out less energy. This has happened before, search for Maunder minimum and Dalton minimum, often considered mini ice ages.

One of those famous scientists, I've forgotten which one (William Herschel), noticed a correlation (inverse correlation) between the price of wheat and sunspots - in the early 1800's I think - more spots (solar activity) equaled lower prices due to the better growing season producing more grain. Yes, they had developed telescopes back then.
 

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Old soul
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The sun was predicted to become increasingly active, but instead has quieted down to the quietest in a 100 or more years. They no longer talk about the failed forecast, but I remember it clearly. So you need to go really far north, and you will not see anything special. Even if near the peak, this cycle is a dud. I've seen a Russian paper examining this and predicting a gradual descent into another mini ice age.
I thought I'd read something about this as well. It certainly fits with my personal observations up here in northern Ontario. As I say, last cycle I became bored with Aurora displays that were anything less that full colour -- they were just that common for a few years. This peak, nada, nuthin.

The idea that we might be into another Maunder Minimum is intriguing. From a climate change perspective it could have a slightly fortuitous impact. Numbers I've seen suggest the impact is relatively small (~0.1 C) , but it would give us some small additional time to reduce our CO2 impacts, and probably more importantly, plan our adaptive strategies.
 

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Same here, best Aurora I've ever seen was on northern Lake Huron...

I was surprised last summer, made it up to almost 60 N, and never saw a thing...
Jon, If you are still reading...

I'm still thinking about your trip, sounds fascinating and is impressive to me. Did you write about it elsewhere?? What type of heat did you have?

What inspired you to go so far north?

Did the lobster pots thin out up there? :)

Thanks.
 

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Jon, If you are still reading...

I'm still thinking about your trip, sounds fascinating and is impressive to me. Did you write about it elsewhere?? What type of heat did you have?
Sometime soon, I'll post a trip report with some pics... There will be a photo in the February issue of CRUISING WORLD, with a brief description of Saglek Fiord. Being held to a mere 350 words, that presented a serious challenge to a gasbag like me... :)

Didn't need much in the way of heat, I'd often run the forced air bus heater when motoring, which you typically do a lot of up there. I have a Sigmar diesel fireplace, as well, but never once felt the need to run it... It's really not as cold as most folks probably think, and it's certainly not too cold for mosquitoes :)) Living most of my life on the Jersey Shore, I'm well acquainted with mosquitoes and biting insects, but I've never experienced anything like the swarms up in Labrador. It's the only real downside to cruising up there, and not an inconsiderable one...

What inspired you to go so far north?
Always been fascinated by the higher latitudes, remoteness, and abandoned places... Labrador has all that in spades...

The one place I really wanted to see, was the old abandoned Moravian mission at Hebron... I made it there, and then a bit further north into the Torngat Mountains, and Saglek Fiord...

Did the lobster pots thin out up there? :)

Thanks.
That's the great thing about Atlantic Canada, no lobster pots at all during cruising season... Once you make it across the Gulf of Maine to Nova Scotia, you're home free...

Once I left Baddeck, Nova Scotia, I saw only 2 other cruising boats, both in southern Labrador... You are really on your own up there :)



This delightful lady is Jenny... She and her husband Buddy are the summer caretakers at Hebron, and she served as my 'Polar Bear Monitor' while I wandered around there... North of about Makkovik, NO ONE in Labrador ventures ANYWHERE on foot without a rifle... (Or, in my case, without a 25mm flare gun :))



This is about halfway up the 30 mile run to the head of Saglek Fiord, the scale of this landscape is impossible to depict in a photo... It's like sailing into Glacier National Park, the geology is strikingly similar, to my eye... Instead of grizzlies, the Torngats have polar bears :)

 
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