Please select your home edition
Edition
T Clewring One Design

Work continues on Barrabas as Nome warms up

by Adrian Flanagan and his team on 7 Jul 2007
Barrabas survived the winter without any problems Alpha Global Expedition
The Alpha Global Expedition is one man’s quest to achieve a vertical circumnavigation. This had never been attempted before. Previously all attempts to circumnavigate by sea from the voyage of Magellan and Drake have been horizontal West to East or East to West voyages. It is only in recent times that Slocum, Chichester, and Knox-Johnston have attempted single-handed voyages of horizontal circumnavigation in yachts. Very recently, horizontal circumnavigation has become almost commonplace with several very expensive racing yachts battling round against each other. Adrian Flanagan started out from the United Kingdom in October 2005, rounded Cape Horn into the Pacific and headed North to the Bering Strait, prior to attempting the first non-stop single-handed voyage through the Russian Northern Sea Route to the Norwegian Sea and home to Britain.

Latest report on Adrian's quest from Nome:

Nome is baking in the midst of a massive high pressure system which is funneling heat down onto this often frozen-over land. The global warming evangelista would probably have something to say. But for the purposes of sailing the Northern Sea Route, the more heat the better. Ice reflects solar radiation whereas sea water absorbs the heat, melting the ice which creates more open water areas to absorb more heat and so on.

Work on Barrabas has continued apace. The mast and rig are back on. Ric Kostiew used the American Independence Day holiday to help me out. First he welded the bases of the upper spreaders which were showing hairline fatigue cracking. Then, with a touch of hand at which I can only marvel, he picked up the 2-tonne mast with the ‘big’ crane and with me on deck to guide him, Ric lowered the mast into its slots on the first pass and with surgical precision - it was a staggering piece of skill.

Barrabas will soon be cramped as fuel cans and other supplies are loaded for the final leg of the circumnavigation

Talking with the local fisherman and gold miners, whose futuristic floating contraptions suck up sand from the seabed in the gamblers’ quest for gold, I learned of a 2-part underwater, rapid-setting cement called SplashZone. Why couldn’t I find it after nine months searching on the Internet? I’ve ordered 2 quarts from Homer, a commercial fishing port down the coast. Peace of mind comes in two tubs of epoxy in case I ding the ice and put a hole in Barrabas.

Tomorrow, Barrabas is lifted back into the water - I can sense the ‘race horse’ eagerness beginning to build in her.

Since arrival in Nome, Adrian has been working round the clock to get Barrabas ready and tested.

On Saturday June 25 Adrian emailed this report:

After some wrestling with US customs, my new radar, sponsored by Furuno will touch down in Nome this afternoon. The plan is to get the scanner mounted on the mast, the mast can then be stepped onto the boat and Barrabas lifted back into the water.

Yesterday, I bought a US sim card for my mobile and finally managed to have conversations with home without the attendant worries of phone cards running out of time. The heartening news was that my younger son, Gabriel, did himself proud at his school sports day, bagging a (small) handful of medals.

I closed my eyes and imagined sitting on the sunnied lawns of England this time next year watching my son triumph in the egg and spoon race, with the Alpha Global Expedition safely consigned to the annals of my personal history.

But, I am ever mindful of the present. This morning was spent going over the engine - draining fuel from the bottom of the two tanks to get rid of the colloidal sediments which accumulate when diesel has been left to sit.

Oil, tramsmission fluids and coolants all went into various openings in the Lombardini engine - the heart of the boat and on which I will be completely reliant when negotiating the ice. Diesel engines will run reliably providing the injectors are being fed clean fuel.

On my various wanderings around the town to get stamps, money, food (and write blogs), I have seen many of the same faces occupying the same doorways as last time round.

Nome is a curious, frontier town. There is a high incidence of alcoholism among the local population and suicide rates during the dark, winter months are high. But, despite the social problems, Nome retains for me an almost beguiling charm.

Whilst Barrabas is warmed up and prepared for the final phase of the Alpha Global Expedition and I begin to hone my focus for the inevitable trials that lie ahead, there is one last preparation that I will make before casting my lines from Nome Harbour - breakfast at Fat Freddies, made famous by Michael Palin during one of his globe-trotting extravaganzas.

Grits, pancakes and eggs sunny side up - if that doesn’t keep me warm in the Russian ice, nothing will.

www.alphglobalex.com

T Clewring CruisingInSunSport - InternationalBakewell-White Yacht Design

Related Articles

America's Cup - Arbitration Panel Hearing over Kiwi Qualifier for July
ACEA CEO, Russell Coutts has confirmed that the Arbitration Panel will hold its first Hearing in July. In a yet to be published interview in Sail-World, America’s Cup Events Authority CEO, Russell Coutts has confirmed that the Arbitration Panel will hold its first Hearing in July. This is the first official indication that the three person Arbitration Panel had even been formed, however Sail-World’s sources indicated that it had been empanelled since last January, possibly earlier.
Posted on 27 May
Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 2
Yachting NZ's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is unprecedented Yachting New Zealand's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is without precedent. Subject to Appeal, the Kiwis have signaled that they will reject 30% of the positions gained in the ISAF World Sailing Championships in Santander in 2014.
Posted on 22 May
Gladwell's Line - World Sailing changes tack after IOC windshift
Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick. Every blow well earned over issues such as the pollution at Rio, the Israeli exclusion abomination plus a few more. But now World Sailing is getting it right.
Posted on 21 May
Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 1
Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving its goals Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving goals set in the Olympic Commission report of 2010. Around 64 countries are expected to be represented in Rio de Janeiro in August. That is a slight increase on Qingdao and Weymouth, but more importantly a full regional qualification system is now in place
Posted on 19 May
Taming the beast-a conversation with Stuart Meurer of Parker Hannifin
While AC72 cats were fast, they difficult to control, so Oracle partnered with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way. If you watched videos of the AC72s racing in the 34th America’s Cup (2013), you’re familiar with the mind-boggling speeds that are possible when wingsail-powered catamarans switch from displacement sailing to foiling mode. While foiling is fast, there’s no disguising the platform’s inherent instability. Now, Oracle Team USA has teamed up with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way.
Posted on 18 May
From foiling Moths to Olympic starting lines-a Q&A with Bora Gulari
Bora Gulari’s is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class, along with teammate Louisa Chafee. Bora Gulari (USA) has made a strong name for himself within high-performance sailing circles, with wins at the 2009 and 2013 Moth Worlds. In between, he broke the 30-knort barrier and was the 2009 US SAILING Rolex Yachtsman of the Year. His latest challenge is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class as skipper, along with his teammate Louisa Chafee.
Posted on 12 May
Concern for Zika at Rio Olympics is now deadly serious
Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, or the Rio Olympics. Many others have, and they were apt, but things have changed. So here now we have a situation where one man, Associate Professor Amir Attaran, who does have a more than decent string of letters after his name, is bringing nearly as many facts to bear as references at the article's end
Posted on 12 May
Zhik - The brand born of a notion, not its history
here is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline is officially marketed as Made For Water There is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline has been officially marketed as Made For Water, and this is precisely what the company has done for the last eight years before the succinct and apt strapline came from out of R&D and into mainstream visibility.
Posted on 8 May
Shape of next Volvo Ocean Race revealed at Southern Spars - Part 1
Southern Spars has been confirmed as the supplier of spars for the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race. In mid-April, Race Director, Jack Lloyd and Stopover Manager Richard Mason outlined the changes expected for the 40,000nm Race during a tour of Southern Spars 10,000sq metre specialist spar construction facility. A total of up to seven boats is expected to enter, but time is running out for the construction of any new boats.
Posted on 3 May
Sailing in the Olympics beyond 2016 - A double Olympic medalist's view
Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. Gold and Bronze medalist and multiple world boardsailing/windsurfer champion, Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. A key driver is the signalled intention by the International Olympic Committee to select a basket of events that will be contested.
Posted on 29 Apr