The North West Passage, now for the last few years comparatively ice free, was first successfully crossed in 1903-06 by Norwegian, Roald Amundsen. However the way is still a great challenge to the cruising sailor.
Dodo’s Delight - caught by gales here
This summer, along with the haphazard fleet of yachts making the journey is a British (Isle of Wight) sailor, Richard Nicolson, with a crew of five, who are taking on the challenge in an attempt to raise money for the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust, sailing west to east in the narrow summer window. Their 33ft boat is called Dodo's Delight.
Dodo's Delight in the Arctic
Richard has had a long career in sailing, starting 'before he could walk' and with a swathe of high profile races - round-world, Fastnets, Hobarts, under his belt.
He is a member of the Ocean Crusing Club, Royal Western Yacht Club, International Association of Cape Horners. Life Member of the Army Sailing Association
Dodo at the wheel
So he is right now aboard Dodo's Delight, a 33 foot Westerly Discus sloop, part way through completing his own acknowledged lifelong ambition to sail across the infamous North West passage.
However, his transit will have other tangible benefits. The Canadian Arctic seabed has had little research and this expedition will include surveying and videoing the seabed, especially around glacier outfalls, to determine the effect of the ice on the seabed and investigate what marine plants and sea life exist.
The challenges didn't take long to materialise. As this is written, gales are the latest challenge, and they haven't even entered the passage yet. They have been forced to anchor near Barter Island, off Alaska, due to severe gales.
To follow the journey of Dodo's Delight with Richard, http://www.richardnicolson.com/!click_here.