The Northwest Passage is dangerous and has claimed many lives. This year the ice has reversed its melting trend with up to 60% more summer coverage in some areas than last year. Reportedly there are several yachts unable to complete the passage, abandoning their yachts until next year.
One filmmaker has, however, conquered the route when it was possible, along with his blended family who joined him for the adventure on a five-month journey.
Sprague Theobald is the mastermind behind the movie, 'The Other Side of the Ice,' now airing On Demand on Bright House Networks?nid=114540. The movie follows Theobald and his family during the 8,500-mile trek filled with deadly danger from ice and severe weather in their 57ft yacht Bagan.
Theobald has always had an affinity for the sea. From his three year stint on the America's Cup yacht Intrepid to his private voyages from Alaska through the Panama Canal and into the Caribbean, Sprague has over 40,000 deep water miles under his belt. His look at The America's Cup in 'The 25th Defense' won him an Emmy Award. The quest to conquer the Northwest Passage was a new magnet.
'The passage has been this theoretical passage between the Atlantic and Pacific and is usually chocked by ice,' said Theobald. 'But for hundreds and hundreds of years, I mean back to Columbus’ day, man has been trying to find this Arctic trail that can make a shortcut from the Atlantic to Pacific.'
Reuniting his children and stepchildren after a divorce more than 15 years earlier, the family embarked with untold hurts and unspoken mistrusts.
'What I found out -- and this is the main message from the documentary -- is that regardless of damage that you think may be done, there was a basis of love and concern underneath all of that,' explains Theobald.
'The Other Side of the Ice' is a film of survival, adventure and, ultimately, redemption.
The yacht used in this adventure, unlike Theobald's previous experiences, was not a sailing boat. Bagan is a Nordhavn 57.
Capable of crossing any ocean, 40 of these popular cruisers were built by Pacific Asian Enterprises. With a range of over 3,000 nautical miles, her modern, contemporary look provided spacious, luxurious accommodations.
Specifications: 57' long 17' beam 6'8' draft 57 tons 2000 gallons diesel. 1 Lugger 310 hp engine w/ 75 hp 'get-home' engine. 20kW gen-set
This film is newly released, and has received mixed reception, but for those who can't themselves brave one of the most dangerous passages on earth, the images are astonishing.
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Vicsail Sydney Pty Ltd, launched into the Australian sailing fraternity in 1983 and has been sailing strong ever since. At Vicsail, “We Sail the Boats We Sell”. [More info]