"It is with a heavy heart that I have made the decision not to proceed further towards the North west passage. The conditions are now too dangerous and I can't go against mother nature and commonsense. The advice I have recieved from the Canadian Coast guard and the ice experts in the Arctic, and from fellow sailor Skip Novak on Pelagic is that the conditions in the passage are not favourable for this season. The passage is not expected to open and a retreat would be dangerous. My plan is now to head south out of the ice bergs and make for Nuuk, the capital of Greenland which is also known as Godthab meaning Good Hope. The last land I saw had the same name some 8250 nautical miles ago. After 4 months at sea and over 18000nm under the boat it is dissappointing to have to change direction but there is an old fishermans saying that - a decision made early is better than one made too late. I will continue these reports and would like to thank all those who have supported me and I hope that you will all continue to support the Variety childrens charity.
With respect, Graeme Kendall, 70north , The Arctic Circle.
When the wind fades away and the fish stay at bay,
When the the rain you need never comes.
And the clouds obscure the sun and the sea turns grey.
You wished you'd sailed around the world on another day.
Kiwi Yachtsman to Attempt World Sailing First Again
Christchurch yachtsman Graeme Kendall is setting out to achieve one of the last major world sailing records by sailing solo non stop around the world via the Arctic Northwest Passage. Kendall launched his specially constructed yacht, Astral Express, in Auckland on Saturday, the 26th of February.
The voyage will begin in Auckland in late April. Kendall plans travel to North Cape then head westward to pass north of Australia and round the Cape of Good Hope, South Africa, north across the Atlantic to the northern coast of Canada and Alaska through the Northwest Passage. Then south across the Pacific Ocean, and returning to Auckland. It is estimated the trip will take 150 to 180 days and cover 28,000 (40,000km) nautical miles, unaided with no stopovers, but relying on the latest technology available.
The Northwest Passage has only recently become a navigable reality with the aid of satellite technology, which has given sailors the ability to monitor ice flows, and therefore a safe passage, during the months of August and September. With recent navigation of the Northwest Passage by private yachts and given similar warm Arctic conditions this milestone should be achievable.
This is one of the last major world sailing records to be challenged, and would be a great achievement for New Zealand and those involved.
The voyage is being funded entirely by Christchurch based Kendall, who has secured 0900 CHILD, which will be sign-written along the side of the boat to raise money for charity. Primarily he will be raising money for Variety – The Children’s Charity, 20% of money raised will also be split between Cholmondeley Home, Christchurch and The Christchurch Bone Marrow Trust.
Graeme Kendall says he aims to raise $25 for each Kilometer sailed through the 0900 number.
This will be an extraordinary solo round the world yacht trip. Not only will Graeme achieve a notable yachting first, he will also, potentially, raise a great deal of money for some very worthy charities.