sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : 29-year-old skipper youngest (Australian) to sail Northwest Passage
29-year-old skipper youngest (Australian) to sail Northwest Passage

'Teleport crew'    .

Two young Australians have become the latest to have sailed the Northwest Passage, Chris Bray and his fiance Jess Taunton. Chris is, at 29 and as far as he has been able to tell, the youngest (Australian) skipper ever to brave the once treacherous passage.

Teleport -  .. .  

Unlike many others, however, they didn't do it with a specially prepared steel yacht. Jess had never sailed before, and they did it in an ancient, but renovated, 'junk-rigged' 29ft wooden yacht.

Teleport - Chris gives the thumbs up -  .. .  
The adventure began in 2009 when they bought the rotting yacht, which they called Teleport, in Canada and Chris set about restoring it. 'It was just gradually deteriorating and rotting while it was sitting there,' said Bray, who ended up devoting several months to the job.

In mid-2011, they started their journey from Halifax, Canada. Called the Everest of Sailing, the Northwest Passage is poorly charted and the sea route was first navigated in 1903. Until the great and alarming melt started in the 21st Century, pack ice prevented ships from going through the passage.

Although 2011 had seen near record-setting low levels of ice formation in the Northwest Passage, Teleport encountered many icebergs along the way, especially along the coast of Greenland.

As the icebergs melt, Bray said they break apart into seemingly harmless but incredibly sharp pieces that are difficult to spot.

'Jess would stand on the bow with an ice pole and fend them away so we didn't ding into them too hard,' he said. 'If you run into one of these bits of ice . . . you'd sink pretty well right away.'

Sharp rocks jutting out of the ocean posed another serious danger.

'Up here, the ocean is not very well charted,' explained Bray. 'Every now and then you see a big rock in the middle of absolutely nowhere with some unfortunate ship's name on it.'

After more than two months at sea, Bray and Taunton arrived in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut on Aug. 31, the midway point of the passage, where they left their boat. They returned in May this year to complete the passage, which they did by arriving in Nome, Alaska. Their timing had been good - 2012, sadly for the future of the planet, but excellent for sailors, set a new low for ice, making the passages easier this year than ever before.

It has been a wonderful experience they report. 'We saw plenty of polar bears and seals,' Bray described. 'We even had a pod of killer whales come right up to the boat and dive all around it.'

'The whole experience was amazing,' he said.

They saw arctic foxes and a polar bear even chewed their camera. One of the highlights was when Mr Bray proposed to Ms Taunton by spelling out 'Marry Me?' with white rocks at Mount Pelly. She said yes.

The couple are planning to sail the yacht all the way home to Australia and then to return to sea next year.


by Nancy Knudsen

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=102406

6:51 AM Fri 28 Sep 2012GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

Click for further information on
Adventure Cruising

Related News Stories:

28 Sep 2012  Sydney skipper youngest to sail the Northwest Passage
20 Jul 2012  Australian adventure sailors play it safe in the North West Passage
16 Jul 2012  Non-sailing guests arriving? - 20 things to tell them
14 Jul 2012  Ten decadent extras to take on a sailing holiday
09 Jun 2012  British cruising family joins sailing volunteers in the Pacific
07 May 2012  Crew wanted to sail the North West Passage
18 Apr 2012  When a sea lion comes to dinner...
19 Feb 2012  Can you beat this? 36 years spent long range cruising
24 Jan 2012  A sailing adventure: Late Night Visitor
10 Jan 2012  Inland waterways - an anchoring challenge Downunder
MORE STORIES ...






News - USA and the World



America's Cup: Challenger calls Competitor Meeting ahead of deadline *Feature by Richard Gladwell Sail-World.com/nz,
































































New York Yacht Club Race Week - Yachting history on display
Volvo Cork Week - Thrilling conditions welcome international fleet
Nacra 17 Europeans: Success for Italy's Bissaro and Sicouri
America's Cup: 2017 venue short-list reduced to two Cities
Formula Windsurfing Youth and Master Worlds overall
49er and 49erFX Europeans: Pitfalls aplenty on day 1 + Video
ISAF Youth Worlds - Laser Radial sailors look to join list of legends
Coville soon to chase solo circumnavigation record in giant trimaran
Fierce competition at the Meanline Fins Slalom Challenge
Volvo Ocean Race - Team Brunel opt for experienced winner
Bakewell-White supermaxi designed to take Transpac's Barn Door Trophy *Feature
Crew rescued by navy patrol from J/111 racer after Mayday in storm
Team Alvimedica practice in Newport, RI - Photos
18 foot skiff European Championship (Open Europeans) - Final results
Nacra 17 European Championships - No action on day 1
ISAF Youth Worlds - 29er and SL16 sailors prepare for battle + Video
Volvo Ocean Race: Eight new crew members named by teams
Volvo Ocean Race: New additions to Spanish team announced
2014 Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek - Phuket Island is ready to host
PWA Awaza World Cup - Cyril Moussilmani and Delphine Cousin on top
Foiling Week - Moth Class Italian Open Championship Day 2   
America's Cup: Luna Rossa foiling in AC45s at their Italian base   
Star World Championship - Germans claim dramatic win in Malcesine   
PWA Awaza World Cup - Down to the wire in Turkmenistan   
Route Halifax Saint-Pierre - Off to France!   
Nacra 17 Europeans - La Grande Motte back in Olympic classes arena   
Stena Match Cup Sweden - Hansen hat trick in Marstrand + Video   
Route Halifax Saint-Pierre Race keeps an eye on Arthur   
World Match Racing Tour: See the Finals replay at the Stena Match Cup   
Newport International Boat Show unveils exciting 'At The Helm' Program   
Stena Match Cup Sweden - First blood to Hansen over Canfield + Video   
Star World Championship - Americans claim race win in Malcesine   
PWA Awaza World Cup - Weather halts action on day 4   
Clipper Race - Henri Lloyd wins OneDLL Cup into Den Helder   
Clipper Race - Close match racing in closing stages of the OneDLL Cup   
Volvo Ocean Race: Spanish play catch-up with under 100 days to go   
World Match Racing Tour: Catch the live action at the Stena Match Cup   
Finn Junior Worlds - Battle for the Jorge Bruder Silver Cup   
Mobiles drive traffic - 72% increase in Sail-World.com page view *Feature   
British Open Dragon Championship finale at Royal Lymington preview   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT