Crew wanted to sail the North West Passage
by Wave Train/Sail-World Cruising on 7 May 2012
Spring in the northern hemisphere means there will be a collection of sailing boats planning a North West Passage transit, lured by the promise of clear passage in summer caused by a rapidly warming planet. Nicolas Kats is one of these, and he's looking for extra crew.
Nicolas Kats in marina .. .
Nicolas Kats, naturopathic doctor and acupuncturist currently residing in Ireland, has decided to move back to Portland, Oregon, and wants to take his boat with him. Having studied the charts a bit, he has concluded the Northwest Passage is the most logical route and is looking for crew to go along.
Here's the voyage precis:
Trip - Clifden, Co Galway, Ireland - W Greenland - NW Passage - Bering Strait - Unalaska - Columbia River to Portland, Oregon. About 7000 NM.
Leave mid June, get there late Sept. 3 to 3.5 months.
Temperature in NW Passage (middle third) is 20 to 40 degrees F avg - need to dress warm & dry! Good probability, but no guarantee, of getting through. If passage is blocked by ice, will back out & go down to East Coast USA.
Nicolas describes himself as a 54-year-old who started sailing as a kid: 'Coastal sailing all my life, mostly New England. No racing. Mostly self-taught. Last 4 years - started offshore sailing with present vessel, based in western Ireland: to Spain, Portugal, Azores, Faroes, Iceland, Hebrides, Orkneys, S Norway, Denmark. About 5000 NM bluewater sailing. No ice experience.'
Here's his description of the boat, Teddy, which was designed and built by Arne Hedlund in Denmark in 1988: 'Boat - 39' LOD steel ketch, 16 ton, 25 yrs old, built in Denmark, virtually no rust, full keel, similar to Colin Archer, but is narrower & has a square stern. Is insulated, has diesel stove & wood/coal stove for heating - will be warm below at all times!
Rigging is 10 & 12 mm galvanized cable, thimble spliced. 9 sails, 3 sea drogues/sea anchors, 4 anchors & a grapnel for ice, 8' hard dinghy & 10' inflatable with sail, no outboards. Engine is 30 HP Sabb. 120 gal water, 120 gal diesel. Steers herself upwind, reaching & downwind just by setting the sheets - wind vane not needed. Extremely strong, simple, low-tech throughout, essentially 19th century in solidity, performance & character. She is fine in gales, have been in about 20 on her.
It is planned that expenses during the voyage will be shared.
He can be contacted on drnkats [at] eircom.net but do it fast, as this is bound to be an adventure many can't resist!
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