Solo Polar Sailor Passes Robinson Crusoe’s Island
by Sail-World/Adrian Flanagan on 15 Mar 2006
Adrian Flanagan . .
Polar circumnavigator Adrian Flanagan is making his way northwards up the Pacific Ocean heading for Bering Strait. So far he has overcome many difficulties of various kinds, from adverse weather to engine breakdowns and steering failure. He has been at sea for four and a half months so far, and is currently passing the Juan Fernandez Archipelago – Robinson Crusoe’s Island. The following is a direct entry from his log:
‘As I write, I am about to pass the Juan Fernandez archipelago. It was here in 1705 that Alexander Selkirk, a seaman aboard a privateer had a thunderous row with the ship's master. Selkirk asked to be put ashore. Four years later, he was picked up by Woodes Rogers. In London, Selkirk's story was written up where it was seen by Daniel Defoe who used it as the model for his novel, Robinson Crusoe. I am sorely tempted to anchor up and have a look...
‘Two nights ago, we had a visitor - a whale came alongside then dived under the boat and was nudging the keel, causing the boat to heel over. I don't believe it was aggressive behaviour and nice to think Barrabas had a new friend. I was more concerned that the whale might damage the self-steering rudder.
‘Today I got my reward after six weeks of grey, cold weather - probably the best sailing day I have had so far! The Pacific Ocean is very different in character from the Atlantic - a longer smoother swell, more expansive somehow and fresher. We had a warm 12 knot breeze coming over the port quarter, blue skies studded with high cloud, sparkling indigo water. Barrabas was reaching at 6 knots, but hardly heeling. I took the opportunity of drying out some damp clothing and taking the galley sink drainage system apart to clean. It was choked with black, foul smelling grunge. I also took time on deck, shoeless, wearing shorts and a T-shirt. This was a day to savour - the serenity, the space, the sing-song of the sea.’
After reaching the Bering Straits, a westward passage through the Arctic will lead to the final stage, south-westerly across the North Sea and back into The Channel. The voyage will take approximately 300 days and cover 35,000 miles.
The expedition yacht, Barrabas, is a Trireme 38 Mk IV. Designed by the renowned French naval architect, Francoise Charpentier and hand-built in France from 316 TI (Titanium) grade stainless steel, the boat has been selected for her great strength and safety.
You can track Adrian’s journey on http://www.alphaglobalex.com
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