Please select your home edition
Edition
Barz Optics - Melanin Lenses

A boyhood dream come true - sailing to Antarctica

by Des Ryan on 3 Mar 2014
In Antarctica at last .. .

Greek sailor Dimitris Liaroutsos had a dream - a dream of sailing to the Antarctic continent. This article is, therefore, of a dream come true - an adventure sail across the Southern Ocean to the most remote continent on earth, the so-called, White Desert.

To achieve his dream, he left his own yacht the Armenistis and joined the Santa Maria Australis, a 66ft expedition yacht ideal for the conditions, skippered by German sailor Wolf Kloss. It was a voyage of 3 weeks passing through Beagle Channel to Drake Passage and then crossing to Deception island. From there a voyage through islands and bays of Antarctica and back to Pt Williams by mid January 2014.

Dimitris writes: Many years ago, when I read that sailing Drake Passage was the Everest for a sailor, I thought………'can I do it?' How is it going to be? I was reading how the wind blows from the West (Pacific) to the East(Atlantic), and how its speed increases passing through the narrow channel between the Andes mountains and the Antarctic Peninsula.

I read how unpredictable the wind is and how easily can reach 40 to 60 knots speed and occasionally more than sixty. Fascinating but scary. Reading that the water through this narrow channel was speeding the Antarctic Circumpolar Current as it passes through persistently and it makes things more difficult I got more scared.

Then such winds give a rise to large waves, especially south of Cape Horn where the sea is shallow and west of Cape Horn the waves can be fierce reaching 20 or 30 meters. Combine these factors with cold temperatures, ragged shorelines and stealthy icebergs, and it is easy to see why Cape Horn and Drake Passage have such a notorious reputation.



My imagination was blown..…and one day I said 'I have to do it'.The adventures of all these explorers Roald Amundsen, James Cook, Ernest Shackleton and others grasped my imagination. I always wanted adventure inspired with an element of danger, Antarctica was the right one to fulfill my boyhood fantasy.

Here we are! After 24 hours in the Passage all what has been written is true, even now that is the South Hemisphere summer you get all this feeling. Here we are with Santa Maria Australis, a heavy boat that can sail safely thru this Southern Ocean part the Drake Passage.


So in a planned three week voyage, the Santa Maria Australis ventured to Antarctica from Puerto Williams, located on Isla Navarino facing the Beagle Channel. First they sailed through the Drake Passage to Deception Island, Enterprise Island, then south to the Chilean Conzalez-Videla Antarctic Base. From there they visited the Artentine Islands, the Vernadsky Research Station, which was the southernmost point of the journey.

From there they veered north again to Peterman Island, Dorian Bay and on to the Melchior Islands, where they prepared again for the north crossing of the Drake Passage. After the crossing they arrived at the Fuegian Archipelago, then on back to Puerto Williams.

Absolutely, a dream come true, but practicality of the moment frequently triumphs: Believe me the weather has been very bad, yesterday night during our watch Christiana asked me ' have you ever sailed before with such weather and waves?' my reply ? ' NOOO'. Waves waves like a …’’ censored’’!!! Believe me, it’s extremely difficult to write considering we spend most of the time correcting typos.



Watch the splendid video below to share their experience, even just a little:






About the Santa Maria Australis:
SV Santa Maria AUSTRALIS (SMA) is a 66 foot aluminum ketch built in Gdansk, Poland. She was built in 1998 and refitted in 2004 to endure high latitude sailing conditions.

In 2006, SMAreached these southern latitudes and has since, endured twelve Antarctic expeditions as of March, 2009. She has been designed and equipped for long distance cruising in comfort.

SMA possesses CE-Certification Category A (Ocean). She is built and surveyed under the Classification of Germanischer Lloyd.

SMA is currently sailing under full service. She has the German CERTIFICATE OF SECURITY, issued by the German Seamanship Association.

SV Santa Maria AUSTRALIS can accommodate up to a total of 12 people. She sails under German flag, registered in Berlin.

Wildwind 2016 660x82Bakewell-White Yacht DesignT Clewring J-class

Related Articles

Olympic Gold medalist and Volvo Ocean Race winner up for WS Board
Torben Grael (BRA) is amongst the 15 nominations for one of seven places on the Board of Directors of World Sailing Torben Grael (BRA) is amongst the 15 nominations for one of seven places on the Board of Directors of World Sailing in November. The five times Olympic medalist, Volvo Ocean Race winner and several times America's Cup competitor will bring a much needed sailing edge to the Board of World Sailing if he can navigate the politics of the controlling body of the sport.
Posted on 25 Sep
D-Marin Farr 40 Zadar Regatta – Overall report
Enfant Terrible and Plenty have been doing battle on the Farr 40 International Circuit for several years now. Enfant Terrible and Plenty have been doing battle on the Farr 40 International Circuit for several years now. Those two top-notch programs have resumed their rivalry this week in the waters off this historic city along the Dalmatian coast.
Posted on 23 Sep
Impressive tow-in freestyle show on the water in Cold Hawaii
The second day of the netIP Cold Hawaii PWA World Cup proved to be yet another lay day for the main competitio The second day of the netIP Cold Hawaii PWA World Cup proved to be yet another lay day for the main competition as expected with light winds and small waves.
Posted on 21 Sep
Brookes and Gatehouse Videos with Knut Frostad
Navico, the parent company for Brookes and Gatehouse (B&G), Simrad and Lowrance have prepared some terrific videos Navico, the parent company for Brookes and Gatehouse (B&G), Simrad and Lowrance have prepared some terrific videos with Knut Frostad, the legendary Volvo Ocean Race sailor and former CEO. See him talk about sailing in general, the B&G product choices and placement he made for his own boat, and then why he loves his Outremer 5X.
Posted on 8 Sep
Soft Padeyes – light, strong and versatile
Several types of soft padeyes are now available and are proving increasingly popular over traditional stainless steel pa Several types of soft padeyes are now available on the market and are proving increasingly popular over traditional stainless steel padeyes. They all capitalise on the incredible strength to weight ratio and abrasion resistance of Dyneema® which offers a reliable, robust, flexible and safe termination.
Posted on 6 Sep
The hurricanes headed for Hawaii and Florida
The National Weather Service has upgraded a tropical storm headed for Florida to hurricane status. The National Weather Service has upgraded a tropical storm headed for Florida to hurricane status. The first of two hurricanes headed toward Hawaii lost strength and was downgraded to a tropical storm. Meanwhile, in Florida, a tropical storm gained in strength and is now designated as a hurricane.
Posted on 4 Sep
Zhik sailors win 17 sailing medals at 2016 Olympic Regatta
The 2016 Olympic games are over and what a Games they have been - Zhik sailors dominated Zhik sailors won almost 60% of the medals contested at Rio de Janeiro. It was a regatta which tested sailors and gear - with one day being the most severe conditions ever experienced at an Olympic regatta. For the Zhik team riders on the waters of Rio, four years and more of hard work and dedication have paid off for many.
Posted on 29 Aug
Kids Polarised Sunglasses from Barz Optics
Barz Optics have developed a quality range of junior polarised sunglasses ideal for sailing and fishing. Barz Optics have developed a quality range of junior polarised sunglasses ideal for sailing and fishing. Each pair are supplied with a neoprene case and sunglass retainer.
Posted on 4 Aug
Reducing weight aloft with composite backstays
Reducing weight aloft is one of the most cost effective ways of increasing your boat speed and performance. Reducing weight aloft is one of the most cost effective ways of increasing your boat speed and performance. Every kilogram you take out of the rig is roughly equivalent to 4kg added to the bottom of your keel!
Posted on 26 Jul
Free $US3,000 Carbon Vang with SouthernFurl boom orders in July
Southern Spars is giving a free carbon vang - valued at US$3,000 - with SouthernFurl in-boom furlers ordered in July Southern Spars is giving away a free carbon vang - valued at US$3,000 - with all of their SouthernFurl in-boom furlers ordered in July. Carbon gas vangs make a great addition to the furling boom package, though if you’d prefer to keep your existing one, Southern Spars will offer you a 5% discount on the price of your boom instead.
Posted on 29 Jun