News Home Video Gallery Newsletters Photo Gallery Cruising Int
Sail-World.com : Blue Planet Odyssey's North West Passage venture:One cruiser's profile
Blue Planet Odyssey's North West Passage venture:One cruiser's profile


'Drina at San Raffal - already highly experienced at high latitudes'    .

The Blue Planet Odyssey, a round-world rally which is the latest brainchild of author, rally organiser and cruising guru Jimmy Cornell, must be one of the most complicated rallies of all time, with multiple routes available according to the preference of the individual sailor. One of the most interesting - and certainly the most challenging - is the route via the North West Passage. We asked one of the participants, Australian Michael Thurston, just why he was taking it on.

Blue Planet Odyssey provisional routings -  .. .   Click Here to view large photo


The first reason was plain when I inquired into his past sailing experiences. Heck, he had done almost everything else, so why not the North West Passage too?

Michael's first adventures by sailing boat were with his family. He acquired the yacht Drina in 1984, and he and his wife Elizabeth and two young children set out on a circumnavigation which took them four years. Later, Elizabeth wrote a book about their journey, 'Dolphins at Sunset'.

But in doing the circumnavigation, Michael did not give up racing, so after this adventure he spent several years in races around the Pacific, between Australia and the South Pacific and Japan, with some cruising in between.

The present cruise started in 2010 when Drina sailed from Sydney to Port Montt in Chile via the Southern Ocean, then cruised the Patagonian Channels and in 2011 rounded Cape Horn on the way to Falklands. After Falklands they encountered their worst weather yet on the way to Mal Plata when they had four days of sustained winds of 50 to 60 knots reaching 80 at times.

The passage then led up the coastlines of Uruguay, Brazil, Suriname, Guyana and through the Caribbean and on to Cuba. After Cuba they crossed the Atlantic again back to the Canary Islands only to start the next Atlantic Rally for Cruisers in 2013.

Not content with one Atlantic crossing, Drina did the Atlantic circle again, joining the 2013 Atlantic Odyssey to Martinique.

She is now in Porto Rico and will sail on to Dominican Republic next and then the east coast of the US up to St Johns in Newfoundland again to make final preparations for the NW passage. They are planning to depart June or July 2014 to cruise up the Greenland coast, then wait for the ice to open up in Lancaster Sound to start the attempt.

At present the crew will be Michael Thurston, with long time crew member Paul Kerrigan from Sydney and Savannah Gates-Stacy from Oregon.

So this is a highly experienced high-latitude crew, with a highly experienced high-latitude boat, who will take on the North West Passage in the coming summer.

Drina is preparing for the North West Passage challenge -  .. .  


What do they expect?

This was something that Michael has obviously given a great deal of thought. 'We expect the NW passage to be quite a bit different to Patagonia which is huge glaciers and mountains,' he told me. 'Whilst the Patagonian channels experiences some incredible winds we expect the NW passage to be more calm but of course more ice, and expect
to do a lot of motoring to get through.

'As far as the normal preparations for such as passage we shall be carrying a lot of extra fuel, long poles for pushing burgee bits out of the way. We shall be experiencing some very long days as the sun does not set up there during our transit time.

'Drina is quite suitable for such a undertaking as she is alloy and already has a diesel heater and such other preparations made to her for the southern Ocean and Patagonia.'

If they succeed in getting through the once impossible Passage he will be, he says, 'the fifth Australian yacht to complete the transit, and one of only 205 vessels of any sort to transit the Passage at all.'

This is not the end of Michael's ambitions though. 'After the North West Passage', he told me, 'I hope to go on to Port Montt in Chile to become the fifth yacht ever to circle the Americas.'

Sail-World Cruising wishes you 'Bon Voyage', Michael!

For more information about the Blue Planet Odyssey, go to their website: http://www.blueplanetodyssey.com/


by Lee Mylchreest

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=119148

1:23 AM Mon 10 Feb 2014GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.







Cruising USA







Barnacle Busting by Neil and Ley Langford,


From Penguins to Polar Bears by Cherie Winner,




Polar research: Six priorities for Antarctic science by Mahlon C. Kennicutt II and colleagues,




NCI granted dedicated VHF Channel by National Coastwatch,


Positive news for cruising boats in Greece by The Cruising Association,




















Risks to penguin populations continues by British Antarctic Survey,




Follow these tips when anchoring by Alex and Daria Blackwell,


Galley Guys meet the Spice Lady by Greg Nicoll, Andy Adams and John Armstrong,




If all else fails read the instructions!! by Stuart Carruthers, RYA Cruising Manager,




Phuket Yacht Show: new kid on the block taking on PIMEX? *Feature by Guy Nowell, Sail-World Asia and Phuket Yacht Show,






Flags at Sea, an infographic by John Tissott by Anna Parker and the Sail-World Team,








Teen names latest RNLI Shannon class lifeboat in Poole + Video
Fascinating opportunity with OceansWatch
Fake GPS signals detected when cruising the high seas
Our new Cruising Editor editor remembers his first offshore adventure
Blue Planet Odyssey - Jimmy Cornell playing catch up on North West Pa
World ARC 2014 reaches Australia
Venezuelan Port Control lift recent port restrictions.
Seismic survey ship operating north of Aruba and Curacao
Predictwind helps you pick the best time to depart
Watch this whale lift a Kayak clear out of the water
World ARC reaches half-way point in Australia
Northern Scotland: Voyage to Orkney and Shetland Isles (Part 2) *Feature
Drowning or electric shock? What you need to know to help save a life
Costa Concordia - the $2.25 billion salvage operation ready to begin
Northern Scotland: Voyage to Orkney and Shetland Isles, more photos *Feature
Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show - New location and attractions
Long Island waters could become more taxing this summer
4.8 million Legos all at sea
Tranquil, colourful and funky, Genoa Bay is a must stop for West Coast *Feature
Scientist pioneered tracer to reveal hidden ocean flows
Sail-World 2.0 - the Beta version- Please take a look   
Dredging activity near corals can increase frequency of diseases   
World ARC heading out of the Pacific   
Understanding the Ocean's role in Greenland Glacier melt   
Desolation Sound added to Salish Sea Pilot free cruising guides   
Three Defensive Docking Strategies for Sailors   
Revealing report on Search for American yacht Nina released *Feature   
PredictWind's Weather Routing opens your navigation options - try it!   
Sail-World Cruising Founding Editor Nancy Knudsen says farewell   
Book review: Weather - you like it or not   
Vaavud launches generation 2 wind meter   
The drama begins - North West Passage sailors rescued from ice   
Entering an unfamiliar bay - decision time   
Baby Nemos finding their way home   
High Latitude Sailing - Book of the Week   
Will the Olympics make a difference to Rio pollution? *Feature   
Blue Planet Odyssey, around world rally, begins   
Africa Europe Cruising Challenge now open for entries   
The real ‘Supermoon’ story   
Warm and noisy welcome for Oceans of Hope in La Rochelle   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL WAS Cru USA
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT