Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Northwest Passage in 2014? Jimmy Cornell blogs on a Northwest Passage

Blue Planet Odyssey Route Map- Click to enlarge

Preparations for the Northwest Passage

As part of my own preparations to sail through that historic passage, I have attended three highly informative lectures delivered by sailors who had transited the Northwest Passage recently. Two had sailed from east to west, and one from west to east. Their boats could not have been more different.
Photo from www.issuma.com
Photo from www.tallship-fan.de
Photo from www.sy-sol.dk
● Richard Hudson’s Issuma was a steel schooner, based on the famous French Damien II designed and built for high latitude voyages, which included several seasons in Antarctica.
● The German flagged Nordwind is a vintage wooden yacht, built for the German Navy before the second world war. The 86 foot yawl is a famous racing veteran having participated in the 1939 Fastnet Race in which she took line honours and established a new record that held for 24 years. The talk at the Royal Ocean Racing Club in London was given by Robert Page, a young crew member in his early twenties.
● Sailing in the opposite direction at about the same time was the Danish Sol, a 42 foot Beneteau First. She completed the transit from west to east in 2012 thereby concluding a ten year long voyage that had taken Kim Mathiesen and Kirsten Thomsen all the way around the Americas including Antarctica and South Georgia. Their richly illustrated lecture was held at the Danish boat show in Fredericia.
Three very different boats, sailed by three quite different crews, but they all concurred in the general assessment of their achievement by stressing that a transit of the Northwest Passage is indeed possible. However, it should not be taken lightly as besides sound preparation, careful timing and a good dose of common sense, you also need to be lucky as weather conditions differ from year to year as does the state of the ice. But if all these elements come together, a transit of this once unconquerable waterway can be achieved.

Special Offers For Blue Planet Odyssey Participants

Preparatory seminars

 Seminars by Jimmy Cornell
Depending on the number of confirmed participants, and also their  location, during the latter part of this year we plan to hold  preparatory seminars on either side of the Atlantic.
Part 1 of each seminar will be a detailed briefing on the weather conditions to be  expected along the various routes sailed by the Blue Planet Odyssey.  We shall also outline cruising opportunities, repair and service facilities as well as logistical matters in the arrival and  departure ports.
In Part 2 we shall invite a number of experts to  talk about communications, weather forecasts, medical emergencies, and any other essential matters that may be of interest, or concern, to anyone setting off on such a world voyage.
These seminars will  also provide an excellent opportunity to meet your fellow participants.
Special offers
Responding to the special nature of the Blue Planet Odyssey, several manufacturers are offering special discounts to participants in this global event, such as a specifically designed Parasailorsporting our logo from the makers of this popular all-round spinnaker.

Parasailor spinnaker
We are  also negotiating special deals with suppliers of a wide range of equipment, from satellite phones and SSB radios to watermakers and electric winch handles.
Mike Phillips, inventor of the EchoPilot forward looking sonar, which Jimmy has used extensively in tropical waters, has offered a 15 percent discount on the listed price.
Another interesting offer is from the manufacturers of Micro 50, an eco-friendly micro bacterial formulation capable of degrading hydrocarbons and quickly removing oil, fuel, etc. from water, soil and a host of materials.

An Arctic Odyssey in the making

Oslo, 16 March 2013

Jimmy Cornell with Arne Kvaale and Ivar Bertelsen
The announcement of the Blue Planet Odyssey was first published in the Norwegian magazine Seilas and as the first start of our global event is also scheduled for Norway, Oslo was a good place to complete my promotional tour of the Blue Planet Odyssey.
Over the last three months, it had taken me to practically every winter boat show in North America and Europe. As at all other venues, the Blue Planet Odyssey presentation attracted several potential participants, almost without exception interested in the northern route, whose 2014 start is scheduled for Kristiansand in Southern Norway.
There is a good reason for that as the Blue Planet Odyssey will be the first organized event to visit the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard, but even more significant is the fact that the first sailor to successfully transit the Northwest Passage was the Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen.
My two Norwegian friends, Arne Kvaale and Ivar Bertelsen, who are representing the Blue Planet Odyssey in Norway, play a prominent part in the local sailing scene. Their company Boreal Yachting is the biggest charter company in Norway and has specialized in high latitude by running regular expeditions to the Svalbard archipelago in summer. Their location in Tromsö, which is north of the Arctic Circle, has allowed them to extend their activities throughout the year by organising sail and ski excursions in winter, with northern lights watching and dog sledge outings thrown in for the daring.

Blue Planet Odyssey Briefing – Webinar with Jimmy Cornell – Sunday March 10, 2013

Here is an excellent opportunity to learn about the Blue Planet Odyssey from Jimmy Cornell from the comfort of your boat or home.
Jimmy Cornell will give a 60-minute webinar to outline the aims of the Blue Planet Odyssey and to report on its progress to date. There will be ample time for questions and answers.
The live webinar will take place on Sunday March 10 at 19:00 GMT, 15:00 EDT (US Eastern Daylight Time).
It is free of charge but you must register ahead of time. All you need is internet to attend. If you are not able to attend the live webinar, you can still register and watch the video of the webinar at your convenience.
For more information on the webinar and to register, click here (Seven Seas University website)

Here is an excellent opportunity to learn about the Blue Planet Odyssey from Jimmy Cornell from the comfort of your boat or home. Jimmy Cornell will give a 60-minute webinar to outline the aims of the Blue Planet Odyssey and to report on its progress to date. The webinar will take place on Sunday March 10 at 19:00 GMT, 15:00 EDT.
The webinar is free of charge but you must register ahead of time. All you need is internet to attend. If you are not able to attend the live webinar, you can still register and watch the video of the webinar at your convenience.
The Blue Planet Odyssey is a round the world sailing event aiming to raise awareness of the global effects of climate change. The event is spearheaded by Jimmy Cornell, founder of the ARC (Atlantic Rally for Cruisers) and organiser of several other successful international sailing rallies including five round the world events. This global sailing event will call at some of the most endangered islands: San Blas Islands in the Atlantic Ocean; Tuvalu, Tokelau, Tuamotus, Micronesia and the Marshall Islands in the Pacific Ocean; the Maldive and Andaman Islands in the Indian Ocean, as well as highlight the effects of climate change on the Arctic icecap, the Great Barrier Reef, and the Galapagos Islands, all of which lie on the Blue Planet Odyssey route.
The route of the Blue Planet Odyssey has been chosen to take advantage of the most favourable weather conditions and to pass through some of the most attractive cruising areas in the world. The route also includes stops or detours to some of the areas where the effects of climate change are already affecting the lives of their populations.
BPO-RouteMap-A-121231Participants in this global event will be able to start from a port on their own continent or join the event at the nearest point along its route. Blue Planet Odyssey will sail westabout around the world along the classic trade wind route via the Panama Canal and Torres Strait. For those who prefer to sail a more challenging route, there will be the option of a northern route via the Northwest Passage or a southern route via Easter Island.
European participants sailing the Southern Route will start from London in July 2014. On the way to the Canary Islands they will stop at several ports before crossing the Atlantic to the Caribbean before continuing to Panama and the Pacific Ocean.
The main route of the Blue Planet Odyssey will be joined at certain points by participants who have started from New York, Miami, Vancouver, San Francisco, San Diego, Rio de Janeiro, Cape Town, Sydney or Shanghai.
In line with the overall aim of the Blue Planet Odyssey, participants are expected to take an active part in some of the projects associated with the event. The Blue Planet Odyssey has met unprecedented success in its first months as over 100 sailors have  already pre-registered for the event.
There will be ample time for questions and answers.
The webinar is free but you must register ahead of time.

Or to listen to the webinar audio file (46.2MB) drop me an e-mail and I'll reply with the url to the audio file.
scuttlebutt (at) greygooseadventures dot com

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