Saturday, February 25, 2012

Coast Guard Commandant Details Arctic Security Issues

At a recent conference, a Defense Department participant said the Arctic doesn’t represent a security threat for at least the next decade, Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Robert J. Papp Jr. said last week.

“The Coast Guard has … a much wider aperture,” he added.

Papp told the Pentagon Channel and American Forces Press Service that the Arctic has economic, energy and environmental implications for national security.

Coast Guard missions there are increasing because Shell Oil Co. has permits to drill in Alaska's Chukchi and Beaufort seas beginning this summer, he said.

Shell will move 33 ships and 500 people to Alaska’s North Slope, and will helicopter some 250 people a week to drilling platforms, the admiral said. That activity has the potential to increase Coast Guard workloads in pollution and environmental response, as well as in search and rescue, he noted.

The Coast Guard will have to station responders in the North Slope, which it hasn’t done throughout its 150-year presence in Alaska, Papp said. Since 1867, he added, Coast Guard cutters have been based in southern Alaska to protect fisheries and marine mammals, give medical assistance to native populations and rescue whalers. The North Slope is new territory for the Coast Guard, with most of the service’s Alaska infrastructure some 800 miles away.

“We’ll take one of our brand-new national security cutters … as the Shell fleet proceeds up there to start their activities,” the admiral said. That cutter will serve as a movable operations center, with worldwide communications, a two-helicopter flight deck and three boats that can launch boarding teams, Papp said.

“For the last four years, we’ve actually been deploying forces up there on a temporary basis to experiment with our equipment [and] see what works up there,” the commandant said. “We will learn lessons … as drilling starts up there, but right now, I’m pretty confident we’ll be able to cover it.”

Climate trends also indicate new missions for the Coast Guard, as former “hard water” ice zones become “soft water” operation areas. The admiral said during one of his early assignments near the Bering Sea, some 36 years ago, a particular location was completely iced in. Two years ago, on a visit to the same place, he said, “there was no ice to be seen.”

In Alaska, fish stock and human activity is moving north as ice recedes, Papp said. But the extreme cold still poses equipment and other challenges for Coast Guard operations, as the Coast Guard’s North Slope experiments proved.

Papp identified two challenges Arctic operations pose: the environment and the infrastructure. With no deep-water ports, inlets for piers or asphalt ramps for boat trailers, “we had to come up with different operating procedures,” he said. And then there’s the fact aviation fuel turns to jelly in extreme cold.

“You don’t want that to happen when you’re flying at 500 feet,” the commandant noted. “We never had heaters for our fuel tanks, because we didn’t need to. So these are little lessons that we learned … that will help us to improve our operations.”

Turning to infrastructure, Papp said the Coast Guard has good command-and-control capabilities linking mariners and shore-based stations throughout U.S. coastal areas. The North Slope is an exception, and when it comes to piers for ships, barracks for service members and hangars for aircraft, Papp added, “there’s none of that infrastructure up there.”

Ships can provide a bridging strategy for North Slope operations, but long-term operations will require investing in shore-based facilities, Papp said.

“I’m going to identify the needs, and I’m going to talk about them,” he added.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Gilles Elkaim aboard S/V ARKTIKA and his sled dogs - Arctic Adventures

Ocean Village in Gibraltar recently had an unusual vessel tie up when Arctic explorer Gilles Elkaim arrived aboard his aluminum expedition vesselArktika on the way to La Rochelle, France, to winter over. Base camp for Elkaim is usually about 185 miles north of the Arctic Circle in Finnish Lapland, where he breeds endangered species of sled dogs and runs a camp that teaches survival skills to a half-dozen visitors at a time. Elkaim’s adventures have included sailing round Australia, trail walking across New Zealand, climbing mountain peaks in Papua New Guinea, cycling across India and camel riding through Mongolia. But Elkaim is best known for a four-year, 7,500-mile solo dog sled and kayak trip from Norway’s North Cape across the Bering Strait and Eurasian Arctic.

Elkaim has spent six months refitting the 47-foot Voyager-built boat Arktika, which will add a new dimension to his Arctic exploration offerings. Now visitors can sign up for sailing tours of up to a fortnight with four or five people and a small team of huskies on board.

More of the Gilles Elkaim story...

Why a boat?

Territories wild are still the best . Because of their remoteness from civilized areas of difficult access, they kept their pristine beauty where landscapes, fauna, flora, and (more rarely) Indigenous peoples have still not been disturbed by the omnipresence of man. How to reach them? if not by logistics and low cost environmentally friendly such snowmobile, airplane, helicopter, ship touring that go against the harmonythat we, explorers and travelers trying to establish with the environment.

In the High Arctic, communication channels, and therefore the logistics are mainly maritime . In summer, the lands discovered by the snow are swampy, too steep or barred river impassable. In winter, the ice provides a surface acceptable for travel by sled. So by the sea, boat and sleigh , I chose to continue my explorations.

The dog sledding is my specialty. For over ten years, I raised my dogs and conducted special on the vast territories of the Far North. The expedition Arktika me across a continent (Eurasia) in its entirety, from the Atlantic to the Pacific halfway around the world four years and 12 solo 000km north of the Arctic Circle.

Following on from this long and rich experience, balancing the boat dog sledding, I wanted to gain independence (almost) complete, autonomy (almost) perfect in the Arctic. My idea was therefore to adapt and equip a solid ship navigation in ice, shelter dog sled and independent living in extreme conditions to make it a platform for polar exploration as summer qu'hivernale.

The concept

The boat "ARKTIKA" is somehow an extension of CAMP ARKTIKA, sled dog camp located in Finland, whose originality is to propose raids committed by dog-oriented learning of wildlife in the North companions with exceptional Siberian huskies primitive (Nenets and Taimyr Laika).

This global approach to the polar environment demand at a time, a physical commitment because we do not support motorized, some mental strength because you have to accept the hazards associated with the real adventure and finally philosophy to understand the why the first two points and grasp the meaning of things in Nature. On this last point, our dogs, well trained and extremely affectionate, are the best guides. So it is with them that we intend to explore the shores of the polar seas.

The boat

Under sail ARKTIKA is a b ateau Shipping designed to sail, live and overwinter in a stand-alone in the Arctic, by hosting six people on board and 10 sled dogs. Its strength, its shallow draft (1m) and autonomy allow it to consider the most advanced programs of Arctic exploration.

ARKTIKA is a boat-like Voyager 47 '14.30 m constructed of aluminum by the yard META in Tarare (France).

Wetting MéditéranéeIts main characteristics are:
strength : thick aluminum shell, process Strongall (12mm thick at the edges)
Reliability : 2 engines 2 x Nanni 62 HP, 2001, 1400 hours of operation
economy : 1l/mile cruising at 7 knots with sails of support.
Autonomy : 6000 nautical miles at 7 knots or two winters (6300l gas oil)
energy independence : two wind turbines, solar panels 4, 12 gel batteries
Safety : draft of 1 m, boat runs aground
comfort heating, insulation, inner wheelhouse, kitchen and bathroom

"ARKTIKA" is registered in Finland. It is approved in an era category, for 6 people.

The crew

Our crew is human-canine.

Gilles Elkaim , half man, half-dog is the commander on board.
He is an explorer and Yachtmaster (Anglo-Saxon version of Captain 200).
It introduces you to the adaptation to the North.

Loret governed , more human than dog, is the skipper.
Owner-skipper patented state (BEES sailing) and Merchant Shipping (Masters 200, PPV, CAPA, PPN). He puts his 30 years of experience in the sea to our boat and you know its instills great sailor.

Guy Bush , 100% man, skipper.
Patented Merchant Shipping (Patron Yacht PPV, PPN, PCMM 250kW, CRO).
In addition, kayaker and photographer

Pouchok , half-dog half-man, the lead dog to retire from my shipping Arktika.
Excellent self-taught.
He sends all his wisdom canine.

Kotch , 100% dog, while fat and muscle, the pet dog (not graduate!) Camp Arktika.
It amuses you and you cuddle.

Et .. you who dream of participating in a hell of a voluntary approach that respects and integrates the polar nature.
The platform for exploration

ARKTIKA offers cruises in small group (3-4 participants) as part of responsible tourism focused on the exploration of polar regions. We maintain the philosophy of Camp Arktika based on the discovery and learning about wildlife in the North except that the base camp becomes a boat around which we radiate in a sea kayak, on foot, on skis or dogsled. No need to be a sailor, our boat is there to ensure our logistics and our accommodation for the return of excursions or raids. (See 2012 cruise program below)

ARKTIKA is a platform for exploration safe and comfortable to carry various scientific studies on the environment (marine or terrestrial) in the most inaccessible areas and under the most extreme climatic conditions of the Arctic.

ARKTIKA provides logistical support reliable and inexpensive for missions and expeditions summer or winter. In winter, our dog sledding take over for travel on the ice. It should be emphasized that, unlike a snowmobile, dog sled, led with experience progresses smoothly through the chaos of ice and ice fragile. It starts in the lowest temperatures and never falls down. It carries 400 kg of material (twice a snowmobile cutter). It is certainly slower, but it is environmentally friendly. Also dogs warn of the visit of the polar bear and give us all their affection.

ARKTIKA prepare in the near future, the great expeditions started only a few extreme participants for a program or a la carte.
The cruise program ARKTIKA - 2012 First season!
Spitsbergen , north-western exploration, trekking and sea kayaking from 16/06 to 28/06, from 30/06 to 12/07, from 14/07 to 26/07
East Greenland , Adventure at the end of the stem, from 11/08 to 23/08, from 25/08 to 06/09, from 08/09 to 20/09
Lofoten , Northern Lights and Orcas, the 06/10 to 13/10, the 13/10 to 20/10
Spitsbergen to East Greenland, from 28/07 to 09/08
The East Greenland via the Lofoten Jan Mayen , from 22/09 to 04/10
Download below the detailed program brochure.


 Explorations cruises Arktika 2012 - 363.612 bytes, 393 downloads
edited by Rair on January 13 · details
 Terms of sale Explorations Cruises - 81.367 bytes, 94 downloads
edited by Rair on January 13 · details
 Bullet registration Explorations Cruises - 73.216 bytes, 60 downloads
edited by Rair on January 13 · details

Camp Arktika adopts a platform dedicated to the exploration of the Arctic in areas as diverse as sports tourism and responsible research, logistics, shipping, watching film or photographic exploration.

"ARKTIKA" is an expedition ship designed to navigate the polar seas, live independently and to winter in the Arctic, by hosting six people on board and 10 sled dogs.

ARKTIKA is a boat-like Voyager 47 '14.30 m constructed of aluminum by the yard META in Tarare (France).

Its main characteristics are:
thick aluminum shell, process Strongall (12mm thick at the edges)
Two reliable engines (2 x Nanni 62 HP, 2001, 1400 h)
economical cruising speed: 1 l / mile sail at 7 knots with support.
autonomy of 6000 nautical miles at 7 knots (6300l gas oil)
Energy independence: two wind turbines, solar panels 4, 12 gel batteries
Its shallow draft of 1.00 m
Comfort heating, insulation, inner wheelhouse, kitchen and bathroom

The Voyager 47 'was designed to safely navigate in the Arctic and across the oceans. A complete refit of the boat is made in 2011.

ARKTIKA "is registered in Finland and is registered in the first category, for 6 people.

In 1984, during its maiden voyage, Voyager 47 'has made the crossing Lyon-New York round trip without refueling. ARKTIKA is the sister ship of the vessel

Under sailLifting the boatfor transport to the site complete refit
2 62cv Nanni engines, cylinder 5, 2001, 1400hwheelhouse and saloon than the passageway and the two superimposed berthstarboard cabinKitchenThe forward cabinIt's bathroom with hip bath

Plan outsideof the Plan within
SpecificationsType: Voyager 47 '
Builder: Meta, Tarare, France
Architect: Michel Joubert and Nivelt
Year: 1984
Dimensions: 14.30 x 4.44 m m
Draft: 1m, boat runs aground
Material: Aluminum Strongall type (bottom 15mm, 12mm shell , Bridge 10mm)
Steering system: double rudders protected crapaudine
Displacement: 19 t charge
Engines: 2 x Nanni 62 HP - 1400 hours, 2001
Trees oil bath method Meta
Cooling: indirect
Propellers: 3 blades Radice 500 mm
Gas oil tank: 6300 l total
Cruising Speed: 7 knots
Consumption: 1 l / mile at 7 knots
Water tank: 1200 l
Mat: Alu 8.20 m
Mainsail, furling genoa, staysail furling
Windlass: Lofran Falcon 1500W
Manual windlass Rear Goiot
swim platform
Alu Hard top
Tent cockpit
Anchors: Brake 40 kg, 25 kg CQR, + 1 spare - 100m of chain 12 mm
20mm plexy windows 18 + 8 panels with vents Goiot
Isolation : 65 mm foam
heating and forced air heaters
Pumps: Electric 3
Cabins: 1 double, 1 Single
Beds: 5-9
Gas cooker: 2 burner + oven
Fridge, freezer
Bathroom: small bath with shower and
water heater: 75l
WC: 2 (1 electric)
GPS: Magellan
Radar: Furuno
VHF: Navicom RT 650
HF SSB Radio: Sony
Loch - 2 pollsters Digipack
Pilot: Autohelm + 1 spare
Compass: Silva
Batteries: 12 x Frost Odyssey 215A / h
Wind : 2 x Eclectic Energy D400
Solar Panels: 80 W x 4
Appendix: 2.50 m with 2.2 hp Suzuki motor
Survival 6 people

Bon Voyage !

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Arctic 2012 Expedition - Request for Crew


by Malte Humpert The M/V GREY GOOSE is outfitting for a 10,000 nautical mile voyage in 2012 from Mobile Alabama 'over-the-top' through the Arctic Northwest Passage to Astoria Oregon. The 55 foot steel Motor Vessel GREY GOOSE ('GG') is planning to depart Mobile Alabama on a 10,000 nautical-mile voyage of discovery up the USA eastern seaboard, Canada and Greenland before staging at Pond Inlet Nunavut Canada to challenge the fabled Arctic Northwest Passage 'over-the-top' during the minimum ice season to Alaska then down through British Columbia's breathtaking 'Inside Passage' on the way to our homeport in Astoria Oregon. Departure is scheduled for May 14, 2012.

Everett-based sea captain Douglas Pohl has announced his intention to sail his 55-foot expedition motor vessel, the Grey Goose, through the fabled – and dangerous – arctic waterway known as the Northwest Passage in the summer of 2012, and is offering six fellow boating adventurers “share-the-ride” berths for contributing to the expenses of the voyage. Captain Pohl plans to leave from his outfitting port of Mobile, Alabama in May 2012, and then sail northwards along the Atlantic coastline of the United States and Canada before crossing over to Greenland. By late summer he expects to complete an east-to-west traverse of the Northwest Passage, and by the fall reach his new home port in Astoria, Oregon.

Potential crew mates may join Captain Pohl for the entire voyage, or board the Grey Goose for just a leg of the voyage. The Northwest Passage along the northern coastline of Canada and Alaska, is widely considered by mariners to be one of the most difficult sea passages in the world. It has been ice-blocked throughout history, and only with the recent impact of global climate change has the waterway been free of ice long enough in the summer for a successful crossing. In August 2011, twelve small vessels are reportedly traversing the Northwest Passage, and the waterway is expected to again be ice-free next year in 2012. Captain Pohl estimates that the Grey Goose will be one of the first hundred vessels in history to complete a single season passage of the fabled Northwest Passage. “It’s a chance to do something that very few people have ever done,” said Pohl, adding that those who partake of the adventure will stand in an exclusive circle among nautical enthusiasts. (The above text was adopted from a Press Release from November 1, 2011).

For more information, please refer to, contact the Captain at (425) 971-5765, or email him at

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Bitter Sweet - the end of a dream - The Best Odyssey comes to an end - GREY GOOSE underway in 2012 - All Aboard!

We all have dreams... not many of us make them come true.... Captain Gavin McClurg is one who has succeeded - KUDOS! - my hat goes off to you!


Looks something like this: As "Discovery" sails around the world you fly in to meet up with her. There you are sailing through crystal blue seas with a group of great friends, exploring remote tropical islands and discovering pristine anchorages. The day begins with a lazy cup of coffee while you focus on the perfect waves you have all to yourself, yet again. The first decision of the day is what board to ride. After an epic early surf session it's time to think about breakfast, maybe a quick freedive to get the blood pumping. Maybe it's the adrenaline, or the coffee, or a combination of both; but the conversation is animated and smiles abound. Slowly the glass outside picks up small wrinkles as the morning breeze strokes the surface of the water. Like clockwork our private bay is slowly transformed into a festival of action and color as first one kite and then another is launched into the sky...


The yacht you wanted and the one you could afford meant a few compromises. She's not exactly luxury, a bit rough around the edges, but hey, she's yours! It's not really big enough for all your friends and their gear but that's okay, a small crew is better anyway. With the demands of your job, family and other responsibilities it's difficult to get the time to go sailing but if you stay close to home you might get out most weekends and then there's holidays. So the round the world thing is a bit unrealistic but hey, there's probably lots of undiscovered places right where you live. So it's not tropical where you live. You can stay warm in just about any weather, and don't get me started on the benefits of layering! Besides, the sun does irreparable damage to your skin anyway. Your friends really seem to enjoy those early surfs but someone has to stay onboard and get breakfast going.

It really is surprising how much maintenance boats require. More to fit into those weekends and holidays. But you love your little yacht and enjoy working on her.


People who have owned a yacht know this- without unlimited time and very deep pockets sailing beyond the home marina can rarely be realized. Today it is becoming more and more difficult to justify sole ownership of a yacht when you compare the cost to actual use. A more economical but equally limiting alternative is to charter a boat- in places where hundreds of others can do the same, on boats that can't compare to the luxury and itinerary of The Best Odyssey.


As a corporate body the substantial risks involved in such an endeavor are minimized and distributed between all the owners while the rewards are maximized for each individual. Our owners consistently tell us they are thrilled to own a yacht many times over what can be offered by a charter company, with an experienced, proven professional crew and professional chef, which operates in a new remote paradise year after year. Offshore Odysseys is not a charter company. The Best Odyssey is being offered to serious explorers who are willing to make an investment to participate in a world sailing expedition that has never been done. We'll sail to wild places, kitesurf where no one has, spearfish and freedive pristine coral gardens, paraglide over mindblowing lagoons, surf breaks Kelly Slater hasn't even found. But we won't cater to stiff upper lips and won't baby whiners. Take a look at all we have to offer and if what you find is exactly what you've been looking for, contact us. An incredible Odyssey began in February 2007 and ends in 2012- time is running out!


The Best Odyssey Yacht Share, Dream to Reality:
By: Gavin McClurg, CEO and Captain

The blueprint for Offshore Odysseys started in 1998 when we went offshore for the first time. Over the next 7 years we sailed half way around the world, over 45,000 blue water miles. Our clients loved our trips, we learned what works and what doesn't at sea, and we had some amazing life changing adventures. I haven't drafted a balance sheet since business school, but I've learned to hold my breath to hunt for fish and lobster, sail a boat safely in violent weather, use the stars for navigation and the sun to gauge the time. Though I didn't realize it at the time, those past voyages were more than an education, they were the foundation for an extraordinary future journey.

That journey is The Best Odyssey. We've taken what works, thrown out what doesn't, added everything we would want to make for an expedition that is as close to perfect as we can create for our owner's, for our sponsors, and our crew. Kitesurfing expeditions to the last frontiers on earth; spearfishing and surfing adventures that no magazine has ever published; sailing itineraries the cruising guides could never envision.


My goal in life is to live from one series of moments to another. To stay out of the future and stay out of the past, and concentrate on the NOW. The Best Odyssey allows us to spend time and create trips with people who are as passionate about exploration and enjoying life as we are.

Other than sailing, my hobbies and passions include spearfishing, kiteboarding, surfing, paragliding, cooking, reading, writing and planning incredible trips. I'm passionate about protecting the environment and always seek ways of contributing positively to the places we visit. I grew up in Lake Tahoe, Nevada and spent my youth ski racing before getting an international business degree at the University of Colorado.

I have the following licenses and training's: USCG 100 tonne Master Captain's License. New Zealand Launch Master. Wilderness First Aid Responder, Swiftwater Rescue Technician, Celestial Navigation, CPR, First Aid. Alpine Intensive, River Intensive, Alpine Site Management, and River Site Management training's for Outward Bound, who I instructed for for three seasons.


Jody MacDonald grew up in Saudi Arabia to Canadian parents, the youngest of four children. She's traveled the world and excels in any sport she's ever tried (tame sports like paragliding, snowboarding, kiteboarding, skateboarding...). Jody is the co-founder of the expedition and it is her vision and drive for excellence that has made the Best Odyssey a reality. Her images adorn the pages of our web site and are viewed regularly around the world in dozens and dozens of sport and documentary publications. She's recently been published in Outside, Forbes, Outside Go, National Geographic, Kiteboarding, Stance, Cruising World, Kiteworld, Cross Country, Hang Gliding and Paragliding and many others; and was recently awarded on the National Geographic web site.

What does it look like to take a look back after five (5) years of circumnavigating the world on a 2002 Lagoon 570 catamaran while sharing the road-less-traveled with some 20 other adventuring shareholders?

Just the numbers please:
Total miles sailed: 54,000 (the distance of nearly two circumnavigations)
Circumnavigation completed: December 10th, 2010 (near Cape Verde)
Countries visited: 50
Total trips operated: 90
Days with guests on board: 986
Documented virgin kite locations: 148
Dinghies destroyed: 2
Trips cancelled or delayed: 0
Money spent on food: $123,321.00 USD
Approximate bottles of beer consumed: 4,320
Cumulative Staph infections suffered by Jody and me: 23
Pros on board: 37
Reefs I’ve planted us on: 3
Times hitting the reefs caused an emergency haul-out: 2
Number of times rebuilding a toilet has caused me to swear profusely: 24 (the exact number of rebuilds I’ve done)
Number of people I kicked off the boat: 1

So sit back and watch a fantastic video put together by Jody - enjoy.... dream..

'Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you
didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from
the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.'
- Mark Twain 

So here it is, a slideshow that takes us back to the beginning and all the way to the end. From the Caribbean, through the Panama Canal, across the South Pacific, Micronesia, Indonesia, across the Indian Ocean to Africa, around the Cape of Good Hope, Namibia, Cape Verdes, Azores, Scotland and Spain:


People keep asking Jody and I what’s next? To be honest neither of us knows. I’m not sure I want to know, at least for the time being. For these five years and eight years before that I have been charged with keeping a lot of people safe in some seriously tight situations at sea. At times the stress of it was as suffocating as drowning, but to witness the smiles and hear what the expedition meant to those who joined was more payback than I could ever get from a paycheck. Even in the very dark times I knew my office was something I should never take for granted, and hopefully I never did. Neither Jody nor I consider ourselves planners, but somehow we planned what is certainly one of the most complex expeditions that has ever happened. If someone died, or got hurt, or got sick the show had to carry on. No calling in sick, no taking a day off. At times I felt like I was living inside a pressure cooker that had no relief valve. More than once Jody and I had long, tearful, serious talks about pulling the plug. But always these times would pass and be replaced with some of the most precious and happiest moments I’ve ever lived. I’m humbly proud of what we’ve achieved and at the same time scared that what we’ve achieved is only human, which succumbs like everything…to history.

We owe much of our success and all of our most incredible moments to our owners and sponsors, who dedicated much of their own lives (and no small amount of their hard-earned money!) to The Best Odyssey.  Each of you took a huge gamble on us, two people you had never met before and to you we say THANK YOU. Thank you for making this absurd, crazy, impossible dream come true. We hope it has also been a dream realized for you.

Because it certainly was for us.

Many thanks to each and every one of you, all those thousands of people who I’ve never even met who have followed our trials and tribulations in the form of the Captain’s Logs for these past five years. As most of you know, writing these logs is always hard for me and without your continued support I would have given it up long ago. But again and again you have reached out to me with your own stories, sorrows, joys, hopes, and fears and blessedly- your encouragement, which always makes penning the next story possible.

I hope we’ve kept you entertained.

But now we have reached a point that five years ago I couldn’t even imagine, and I still can’t believe has come. This is the final log of The Best Odyssey. An era has come to an end.

But really, somehow I think it’s just the beginning.

As always, I leave you with a quote. It’s one I’ve used before but it remains my favorite. Someday I hope to be as cranky, profound and important as Edward Abbey, who fought his entire life to preserve wild places. Unfortunately it’s a fight that will continue to be lost to the Corporations unless we get seriously pissed off and do something about it. Seems like now is a pretty good time.

“One final paragraph of advice: do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am – a reluctant enthusiast….a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it’s still here. So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much; I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound men and women with their hearts in a safe deposit box, and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this; You will outlive the bastards.“ — Edward Abbey



If you're tired of the rat race, been dreaming of sailing around the world and have been waiting for the right opportunity this is IT! Discovery is a spectacular 2002 Lagoon 570, which has proven an awesome luxury catamaran for our expedition. She's just taken us around the world- over 50,000 blue water miles to the most remote corners of the globe. She has been METICULOUSLY maintained and is absolutely show-ready. All new rigging, sails, teak decks, loads of upgrades, newly painted, all newly varnished interior. Ready to leave tomorrow? Discovery is kitted out with everything you need. Thousands of dollars of spares, tools, and of course all the required toys and a LOT more.

She has 4 beautifully appointed private guest cabins and two crew cabins which sleep 11. Flat screens/DVD in each and a generous interior layout. Huge main salon and cockpit, brilliant galley, 2 fridges, 2 freezers, ice maker, beer fridge topside, tons of storage everywhere, laundry machine, A/C and heat, dive compressor, new tender with new 50hp 4 stroke outboard, and a tow winch for paragliding. Of course all system electronics (GPS, radar, SSB, sat phone, broadband internet, etc.).

Maybe you're interesting in funding your dream sail around the world by running a kitesurfing expedition like we did? We'll sell you the boat, and ALL the IP of our company (this website, contracts, financials data, itinerary advice, sponsor contacts, etc.) as well to help get you going! We started from scratch, now we have a proven, working blueprint. Go on, get out there! She's listed at 490,000 Euros- a heartbreaking (for us!) steal!

Send us an email if you are interested.

It's sad to think no more living vicariously through Best Odyssey emails filled with Jody's wonderful pictures and videos... but a new opportunity has unfolded - the 55' steel expedition trawler Motor Vessel (M/V) GREY GOOSE will be underway in 2012 - looking for a slice of your dream to fulfill?  Come join us and capture memories, pictures, videos and friendships that last a lifetime aboard M/V GREY GOOSE ... details are available online at:

Wishing you smooth seas and red sunsets!


Monday, November 21, 2011

COUNTDOWN TO DEADLINE - December 1st for a Northwest Passage 2012

Here is what we have been up to for some time... preparing GREY GOOSE for an extended voyage...

Online painting pictures:

Now we are ready for a long ride... be it North or South ?

December 1st is the deadline to let us know if you would like to join us for a share-a-ride Northwest Passage 2012 Expedition. If there is a good crew we will plan to go North - departure in May 2012. If there is not enough interest to go North we will plan to go South early winter 2012 through the Panama Canal to our home port in Astoria Oregon.

Either way - if you have interest in cruising - consider joining us aboard the MV GREY GOOSE.

Doug & Michelle
Voyage website:

Friday, August 19, 2011

New website and blog at northwestpassage2012

Since we are planning a 2012 Northwest Passage (yes, we still have open crew berths available) a new website and blog are in process at:


If you would like to join us - full voyage or on a selected portal-to-portal leg - drop me an email with your details - this 10,000 nautical-mile voyage from Mobile Alabama via East to West transit of the Northwest Passage to our home port in Astoria Oregon is a once in a lifetime dream adventure.

Smooth seas,


Friday, April 8, 2011

MUSICAL ROAD: Stan Rogers: songwriter of work, change, & sea

A journey across Canada by a modern day man in search of himself, a trip by an explorer centuries go seeking a northwest passage to the Orient, and a bringing together of the strands of hope, connection, and regret all that implies: those are things Stan Rogers gets at in his song Northwest Passage. It is not surprising then that though Canada has a very fine national anthem already, when the CBC asked a few years back what people would choose for an alternate. Northwest Passage was it. The fact that it has an anthemic chorus helps imagine in that way, as well.

see a video of Stan Rogers singing the chorus of Northwest passage

Rogers was a musician of the land, and of the working person. Though still in his early thirties when he died in an accident, he left a legacy of song which continue to touch people's hearts across the world. 
Sixteen of these are gathered on The Very Best of Stan Rogers.

Rogers shows his lively, jaunty side in Fogarty’s Cove, and handles sadness, the bittersweet nature of aging, and the lasting power of love in the reflective song Lies. Free in the Harbour weaves in whaling and changes in the work of seafaring.  stan rogers coverWork and change, in the sea and on the farm, are frames for the stories Rogers tells in Make and Break Harbour and The Field Behind the Plow. His deep baritone adds color to the stories he tells, and the time he spent in Nova Scotia, summers a a child and returning as an adult is likely one reason you hear elements of Scotland and Cape Breton often in melody and instrumentation on these tracks.

The collection closes with the song The Mary Ellen Carter. The raising of a sunken ship and finding courage and hope to face obstacles all come into play in this well loved song, but not quite in the way you might think. That’s something Rogers left as a legacy, too: stories and melodies that work well in a straightforward way, yet often contain layers of meaning beyond what is at first apparent as well. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Restored yacht to support 2012 Antarctic expedition

Captain Oates' own boat in role with centenary trek
The current owners of the classic yacht Saunterer, which belonged to doomed Antarctic expedition team member Captain Lawrence Oates, welcomed the Royal Navy aboard at a special ceremony in Dartmouth on Friday.
Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope, the First Sea Lord, was in town to launch the British Services Antarctica Expedition. The project celebrates the 100th anniversary of the historic attempt on the South Pole by Captain Scott and his colleagues and hopes to raise £10,000 for the Help for Heroes charity.
Chloe and Guy Savage bought the 60ft Saunterer in 2009 and have lived aboard during her extensive restoration. The yacht has been adopted at the expedition's mascot due to her connection with Captain Oates. She will be used to help develop team member's sailing skills and host associated events.
Admiral Stanhope said, 'They have done a massive amount of work to restore Saunterer to its original condition and the result is magnificent.'
Explorer's yacht to play part in Antarctic trip to celebrate anniversary
DARTMOUTH sailors Guy and Chloe Savage welcomed the head of the British Navy, Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope, on board their yacht, Saunterer, at a special ceremony in the port.
The First Sea Lord travelled to the town on Friday to launch the British Services Antarctica Expedition which will celebrate the 100th anniversary of Captain Robert Scott's heroic efforts to reach the South Pole.
Members of the Royal Dragoon Guards piped Admiral Stanhope onto Saunterer at Britannia Royal Naval College's maintenance yard Sandquay, where she is moored.
The yacht is the inter-forces expedition's mascot as it was originally owned by Captain Lawrence Oates, a member of Scott's exploration team, who famously said the words "I am just going outside and may be some time."
Guy and Chloe, who live on Saunterer, bought the 60foot wooden yacht in 2009 and have lovingly restored her to her former glory .
The couple will be supporting the services expedition, planned for January 2012, by developing the sailing skills of the exploration team as well as hosting sailing trips and corporate events for the expedition sponsors at various sailing festivals and regattas around the South West including Dartmouth, Brixham and Salcombe.
Admiral Stanhope said: "Saunterer is a fantastic historical connection to Captain Oates.
"Her restoration by Guy and Chloe has been a labour of love in every respect.
"They have done a massive amount of work to restore Saunterer to its original condition and the result is magnificent."
The launch was also attended by Captain Oates's great niece and nephew, Muriel Finnis and David Wilson.
The pair had only recently learned about the existence of Saunterer and said they were 'blown away' to lay eyes on the 'beautiful yacht' once owned by their famous relative.
Mrs Finnis said: "It's super to see it and it's absolutely amazing it is supporting this expedition.
"Guy and Chloe's restoration work is fantastic, especially as they lived on the boat as a wreck with water pouring through the decks."
Mr Wilson said: "I read bits and pieces in history books about the yacht but I hadn't realised it still existed.
"I was quite delighted to find out it did, she is beautiful and I can see she has been restored with love as well as hard work."
Saunterer was built in 1900 by Charles Sibbick of Cowes and Captain Oates became her owner in 1905 until his death in 1912.
Later on, the yacht became a charter vessel in Scotland and after the death of its owner, lay neglected in a yard on the River Clyde near Glasgow until she was bought by Guy and Chloe.
Guy described the expedition launch and Admiral Stanhope's visit as a 'great day' and said he was proud to be a part of the Antarctic adventure.
He said: "I loved Saunterer as soon as I saw her and she became even more special when I found out her links to Captain Oates.
"It has been hard work restoring her but worth it and being invited to play a role in the expedition is the icing on the cake for us."
Chloe said: "It was a privilege to welcome the First Sea Lord on board Saunterer and to meet some of the expedition team and the relatives of Captain Oates.
"We are very excited about supporting the expedition and are really looking forward to a busy season ahead."
Expedition leader Paul Hart said the incredible story of Captain Scott and his team is the inspiration behind the British Services Antarctica Expedition 2012.
"Unlike other expeditions seeking to follow in Scott's footsteps, we will travel in the spirit of Scott but not in his tracks.
"Instead, and very much in the ethos of the 1910 to 1913 expedition, our aim will be to conduct the scientific exploration in the Peninsula Arm of Antartica, an area which is warming faster than anywhere else on the planet."
The expedition also aims to raise £10,000 for Help for Heroes charity.
For more information about Saunterer and the festivals it is attending this year visit
For information about the 2012 expedition visit


Whyte & Mackay master blender Richard Paterson recreated the 'fresh, delicate and gorgeous' whisky.

Whyte & Mackay has successfully recreated the century-old whisky buried under the Antarctic ice by famous explorer Ernest Shackleton.

To view the Multimedia News Release, please click:

The company's master blender Richard Paterson spent a painstaking eight weeks marrying and blending a range of malts to get an exact replica of the 100-year-old Mackinlay's liquid.

And according to one independent expert, he has got the copy exactly right. 

Renowned whisky writer Dave Broom is the only other person in the world to taste both the original whisky and Whyte & Mackay’s new liquid.

He said: "The Shackleton whisky is not what I expected at all, and not what anyone would have expected. It's so light, so fresh, so delicate and still in one piece – it's a gorgeous whisky.

"It proves that even way back then so much care, attention and thought went into whisky-making. 

"I think the replication is absolutely bang on. Richard has done a great job as it's a very tricky whisky to replicate, because you have this delicacy, subtlety and the smoke just coming through. 

"The sweetness, fragrance and spice, and the subtle smoke, are all there in the replica. I’m blown away."

The Shackleton replica will cost £100, with 5% from every sale being donated back to the Antarctic Heritage Trust, the New Zealand charity responsible for finding and uncovering the original whisky. If all 50,000 bottles sell out the Trust will receive £250,000. 

Trust chief executive Nigel Watson said: “From start to finish it's taken almost four years to safely extract the whisky crate from site and then Antarctica, thaw it in museum conditions, secure permits and complete scientific analysis in Scotland . I am delighted that Whyte & Mackay recognise the hard work and value of the Trust’s conservation mission in Antarctica by making this very generous and welcome donation."

Richard Paterson said that matching the whisky really tested his blending skills, but it was a true labour of love. 

"It was a real privilege getting to handle, nose and taste such a rare and beautiful bottle of whisky. The quality, purity and taste of this 100-year-old spirit was amazing. The biggest surprise was the light flavour and the clear, almost vibrant colour of the liquid. I hope I have done our forefathers and Ernest Shackleton proud with the replica.

"I would like to thank the Trust in particular for their patience, their expertise and their hard work. They fully deserve the substantial funds this special bottle will generate."

The whole replication process has been documented exclusively for National Geographic Channel for a documentary due to air at the end of this year.

Notes to Editor

Tasting Notes

The replica Mackinlay contains whisky from a range of highland malts, including Glen Mhor, which was the original Mackinlay’s distillery before it closed in 1983.

The 47.3% ABV whisky has a light honey and straw gold colour with shimmering highlights.

The nose is soft, elegant and refined with delicate aromas of crushed apple, pear and fresh pineapple. It has a whisper of marmalade, cinnamon and a tease of smoke, ginger and muscovado sugar.

The generous strength of the 47.3% whisky, believed to be high to stop the alcohol freezing, gives plenty of impact, but in a mild and warming way. It has whispers of gentle bonfire smoke slowly giving way to spicy rich toffee, treacle and pecan nuts.

Additional Info

Three bottles of the original Shackleton whisky were flown by private plane from New Zealand to Whyte & Mackay's Glasgow base by the company owner Dr Vijay Mallya. 

There were three cases of whisky and two cases of brandy found on the Antarctic in 2007. One case was removed from the ice and was painstakingly thawed out under laboratory conditions to preserve the bottles and spirit in the best possible way.

That one case was found to have only 11 bottles instead of the usual 12, leading to much speculation about what happened to the missing bottle 

Source: Whyte and Mackay Ltd 

Polish yacht - Northwest Passage and Cape Horn in a single journey

Polish yacht - North West Passage and Cape Horn in a single journey

'Solanus achievement - Polish sailors celebrate their rounding of the Horn'    .

Last year the steel expedition yacht Ocean Watch completed a circumnavigation of the Americas, clockwise, and at the time it was thought they were the first yacht to achieve such a challenge. Now a Polish yacht is on its way to achieving the same challenge, anti-clockwise, and has just rounded Cape Horn.
Solanus route so far -  .. .  

The yacht Solanus has three permanent members of crew, the skipper Bronislaw Radlinski, along with two crew, Nowak and Kantak. Other crew have joined them from time to time. Leaving Dkansk in Poland in May 2010 from their yacht club, the Polish Sports Club Bydgostia, they headed across the Atlantic to tackle the North West Passage from east to west in the summer of 2010, completing it successfully on 20th September.

From there they sailed south, visiting ports in Canada, the USA, Mexico and Chile. Last week, very late in the season, they successfully rounded Cape Horn, and are now berthed in the most southerly city in the world, the remote Ushuaia.

In spite of their yacht being excellently prepared, they have now found problems with some of their shrouds, and must wait in Ushuaia until a repair can be effected. They anticipate making full repairs in Buenos Aires where there are yacht facilities.

Congratulations to both the crew of Solanus, to their sponsoring organisation the Sports Club Bydgostia, and to Poland, for achieving such a challenging voyage so far.

To follow their journey, go to

Solanus - even the dolpins are celebrating -  .. .