Friday, May 31, 2013

David Scott Cowper aboard POLAR BOUND set his sights on a 6th Northwest Passage challenging a new route

Given that MONTANE® provides technical equipment and sponsorship for innovative polar explorers and expeditions, it was an extremely easy decision to welcome David Scott Cowper to the team of sponsored ultra athletes. As one of the world’s most prolific explorers, he is regarded by many as the greatest living solo navigator.

David’s accomplishments rank him amongst such names as Nansen, Amundsen and Franklin. In 1990 he became the first person in history to sail single handedly around the world via the Northwest Passage - a journey that took over four years. David’s crossing in 2009 remains the first solo transit of the Northwest Passage in a single season and in 2012 he completed the first transit of the Northwest Passage via the McClure Strait, a route first discovered by Captain Robert McClure in 1851.

The Northwest Passage is a sea route through the Canadian Arctic Archipelago that connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The challenge of navigating this treacherous stretch of water and ice has attracted explorers for centuries, including Sir John Franklin whose entire expedition team of 129 men perished after getting trapped on the sea ice. Roald Amundsen, along with a crew of six completed the first crossing of the passage in 1906 – the expedition took them three years.

In total David has completed five official Northwest Passages – four of them solo. The 2012 transit through McClure Strait was with Jane Maufe (GB) as crew.

In the spring of 2013 he will return to the Arctic in his ship Polar Bound to attempt to complete another transit of the Northwest Passage via a new route – if successful he will have crossed the Passage by five possible routes. On his latest challenge David will be using MONTANE® clothing and equipment.

Follow David's progress on

You can read about David's Northwest Passage Solo voyage at:

David Scott Cowper is a British yachtsman, and was the first man to sail solo round the world in both directions and was also the first to successfully sail around the world via the Northwest Passage single-handed.

 He faced many dangers and delays including impenetrable pack-ice, leaks and the eventual sinking and salvage of his first boat.

This involving account of four round-the-world solo voyages by a British yachter will enthrall lovers of sea lore. In 1980 and 1982 Cowper circumnavigated the globe in a sloop--first easterly, then westerly--both times via Cape Horn; he was the first sailor ever to do so. In 1984-1985 he repeated the trip, this time in a motor vessel, a converted lifeboat. But these adventures served as preludes to his solo circumnavigation via the Northwest Passage, which consumed four and a half years and ended triumphantly in 1990. Cowper's sloop was generally sturdy and dependable, but the elements were unforgiving, as he had to battle ice and fog even in August, and several times had to abandon his ship during the winter. A stirring story. 
Photos Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

With the world seemingly becoming smaller each day, with less room for new adventures and discoveries, David Cowper's journey will invigorate those who have a yearning for the olden days of the explorers. The Northwest Passage still has a romantic mystic attached to it, and the difficulties of crossing it are well described in this book. Enough detail and description is included to give the reader a genuine feel for the Passage and the scope of the trip. Even if a reader has no interest in the North, the book offers a glimpse into the human spirit's desire for adventure and challenge. Yet, and perhaps the nicest thing about it, Mr. Cowper retains humility and never self-aggrandizes.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Enter your comment(s) here...