Tracking the Grand Adventurers
by Nancy Knudsen on 19 Apr 2006
A large sailing ground . .
Dee Caffari...Adrian Flanagan...Donna Lange...Raphaëla le Gouvello.
They are all current solo sailor adventurers of the grandest kind, but so very different - One is on a sophisticated ‘Formula 1’ 72foot racing boat, another is sailing a home built that will need a refit half way round the globe. Another is in a steel beauty that is designed for the icy Arctic Ocean, and another is on a windsurfer. As you are reading this they are doing it along on the high seas somewhere. They are far apart - One is in the Pacific, one the Atlantic, one the Indian Ocean, and one is in the Tasman Sea. However, there’s one thing that unites all these lonely seafarers, which turns up again and again in their diaries –. Among the technical challenges, the sicknesses, the bad storms and rough seas, though so far apart they all share one overriding common theme - the euphoria which goes with a long sea journey.
From Raphaella: ‘Everything is changing, the colour of the sky, the state of the sea, everything is unpredictable, but what is certain is that I am in the Great Ocean.’
From Donna: ‘Only gratitude to all the sea winds, stars, and the man in the moon, visible from the south ocean, and in his care I am entrusted, confident I will sail safely to a truly new world’
From Adrian: … breeze coming over the port quarter, blue skies studded with high cloud, sparkling indigo water ….. days to savour - the serenity, the space, the sing-song of the sea.
From Dee: sailing under a full moon that illuminated the sea and Aviva as if it was daylight …. whilst the vastness of the night sky swallowed me up until Aviva and I were amongst the stars and the moon played with its reflection on the top of the waves as it illuminated our path ahead
RAPHAELA LE GOUVELLO:
Raphaëla le Gouvello left Western Australia on 9th April on a surfboard, and is attempting to cross the Indian Ocean. Yesterday, despite seasickness and having to tackle heavy breaking surf soon after leaving, she is nine days and over 400 miles into the crossing… and she only has around 2800 nautical miles to go….
After 15 months of preparation, Raphaëla reported by phone that she is feeling good and loves the ‘freedom and space, the overwhelming beauty of the sea.’
After a few days of seasickness, she is well over that and ‘for the first time, I have eaten the whole of my daily ration’.
When not occupied with navigation and sailing, Raphaëla has music to listen to, and do some stretching. With good weather for the last four days, she has been ‘sleeping like a baby’. She has an active-echo radar to wake her if ships are in the area, and has already had to divert one. A strong back-up team are helping her on land, and she will soon divert more to the west.
Raphaëla is 45 years old, a qualified veterinarian specialized in aquaculture. She has already crossed the Atlantic, the Mediterranean and the Pacific Ocean on a windsurfer.
You can follow Raphaela’s journey at http://www.raphaela-legouvello.com/index_an.php
DONNA LANGE, ON INSPIRED INSANITY:
Starting from Rhode Island, on the 15th November, last year, Donna Lange is in the 159th day of her solo circumnavigation. A veteran of many cross-ocean journeys, this is Donna’s most ambitious to date. A musician and a nurse by occupation, Donna survived a serious car accident several years ago in which several people were killed, and has since spent a greater part of her life sailing on ever-greater solo sailing expeditions. Not as well sponsored as other adventurers, Donna will stop in New Zealand for a refit of the boat, and is dependent on new donations and sponsorships to keep her sailing.
You can follow Donna’s journey on www.donnalange.com
ADRIAN FLANAGAN, ON BARRABAS:
Adrian Flanagan a Kenyan born Englishman on Barrabas, set out from the Solent in England on 25th October in a steel built Trireme 38 Mk IV. His goal was a solo unassisted polar circumnavigation south over the Atlantic towards the Falkland Islands, then westwards around Cape Horn. The track was then to head north over the Pacific towards the Bering Strait. A westward passage through the Arctic would lead to the final stage, south-westerly across the North Sea and back into The Channel.
The voyage was scheduled to take approximately 300 days and cover 35,000 miles. Beset by technical problems in the first part of his voyage down the Atlantic, he finally rounded the Horn, where he suffered a knockdown. He then headed up the Pacific Ocean for the Bering Strait, but was unable to repair the heating system on the boat, damaged during the knockdown. He is now headed for Hawaii, where he will take on stores without stopping – DHL is coming to his assistance. His route will also probably change from the Arctic over Russia to the Arctic over Canada because of Russian restrictions on travelling the area without a pilot.
As of yesterday, he had reached the Northern Hemisphere again, with about 2000 miles to go to Hawaii.
You can follow Adrian’s journey on http://www.alphaglobalex.com
DEE CAFFARI, ON AVIVA:
On the 20th November, Dee Caffari set out to become the first woman to solo circumnavigate the globe the ‘wrong way’ round – from East to West, against the prevailing winds and current. She is sailing a boat she has already skippered in the westabout Global Challenge race, but the challenges have been great, and the success of the journey threatened several times by equipment difficulties, all of which Dee has been able to solve. Articulate and communicative, Dee has shared many of her difficulties, both physical and emotional, during the journey, and is now headed into easier waters as she sails northwards through the calmer waters than she had in the Southern Ocean. Today she is heading for the doldrums, and she and her back-up team are trying to find the shortest way through.
You can follow Dee’s journey on www.avivachallenge.com
Other Adventure Sailing News:
ALAN RANKIN has had to abandon his Round Scotland Sail and Cycle attempt because of gear failure, after only four days.
MARGARET WILLIAMS will again attempt to become the first woman to solo sail unassisted round Australia, setting out in April.
MANU BERTIN will set out in mid-April to kite-surf the Atlantic Ocean.
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