Wednesday, June 12, 2013

HISTORIC FIRST - 2010-2011 Mathieu Bonnier rows solo 6,500km from Qaanaaq Greenland to Nome Alaska through Arctic waters - ALMOST

The first crossing of the Arctic rowing alone! While this is NOT an official 'Northwest Passage' with designated starting and ending points at the Arctic Circle in both the Davis Strait and the Bering Strait it does represent a monumental achievement. KUDOS to Mathieu Bonnier!

A journey marked with icebergs and drift ice blocks, an area poorly mapped, the Northwest Passage links the Atlantic to the Pacific, north of Canada and Alaska, Mathieu rowed 6500 kilometers in a hostile environment ... This is what awaits Mathieu Bonnier, who decided to take up the challenge.

An Arctic Transit

Since 1903, when the Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen crossed the first Canadian Arctic from east to west. This is a first for Mathieu Bonnier ... rowing solo he is said to be a determined and enterprising one-man expedition project.

Departure from Qaanaaq (Greenland) was 2010.
Wintering the boat in an Inuit village.
Arrival at Nome (Alaska) was 2011.

A MAN - Mathieu Bonnier

Mathieu Bonnier had promised not to launch such a challenge at the end, in 2009, a trip to train alone 43 days under the Bouvet Rames Guyane. The call of the sea and the adventure was the strongest and the veterinary restarts in July 2010 for a new challenge: crossing the Arctic by rowing. A world first.

"I'll sell my boat. I did not really want me to start this kind of individual challenge. I want to move on. "This is what was said in April 2009 Mathieu Bonnier, veterinarian upon arrival Cayenne (Guyana) after forty-three days of a trip rowing solo across the Atlantic Ocean.

Two years of preparation were necessary and it is possible to win second place in front of a dozen other competitors who have traveled some 4700 km between Saint-Louis, Senegal and Cayenne.

This promise, Mathieu Bonnier will not have held long! The call of adventure has finally been stronger than anything. In 2010, he embarked on a new challenge: the Arctic Far North.

"I'm a fairly determined man. I always try to go further, "he says again. We want to believe. It is a new big challenge to attack. Qaanaaq Greenland to Nome, Alaska, through the passage of the Northwest Arctic rowing alone is indeed a world first.

Beside him, his dog Tico, an Alaskan malamute, who supports him in this fabulous adventure.

The race will start in July for a planned return ... September 2011. More than 6000 miles to go where he will face the ice, even if a part of this trip is'' unfortunately'' made ​​possible by global warming.

Because I have another challenge for Mathieu Bonnier: succeeding in its goal, he wants to attract attention to this part of the world that will be part of the first to be affected by the effects of global warming and to be exploited for its fossil deposits.

A DOG - Tico

Tico, the faithful companion of Mathieu

Tico is the dog of Mathieu Bonnier, he will be Mathieu's only companion during the challenge. The Alaskan husky, already at his side when crossing Alaska in 2006, is perfectly accustomed to the climate of the North. This is the species that does it!

Tico is an Alaskan husky Mathieu Bonnier brought to Anchorage in 2003. About the Alaskan husky, can not really talk about race, but rather species or even type.

Indeed, formally recognized the Alaskan malamute and Siberian Husky. The Alaskan Husky is not for his part clearly defined in terms of its ancestors. Thus we find, according to parents, different types of Alaskan Husky.These differences are both morphological level as its look, with colors varying dress.
Among these dogs, they are more physical abilities that characterize it. Alaskan Husky and not missing! Dog coupling of high efficiency, it can also, according to its origins, excelled in the sprint where bursts of speed that is able to achieve are impressive.

Side character, the dog's mind is very outgoing. This makes him a dog appreciated for his talents as a companion and well respected for his good  nature.

This is obviously a sturdy dog, strong and rustic that we are dealing with. They are reported only for certain subjects a predisposition to genetic diseases found in purebred dogs of Nordic type such as APR (progressive retinal atrophy) or hypothyroidism. In general, the Alaskan Husky enjoys a good life up to 15 years on average.

A BOAT - A prototype and a first challenge 

The challenge launched by Mathieu Bonnier was to pass on the construction details of a boat not quite like the others. It is indeed a specialized prototype.

Several constraints have been taken into account for the implementation of the boat from Mathieu Bonnier's technical point of view. The main one being the climatic conditions in which it will sail. His boat will actually face such extreme cold, not to mention the ice, a somewhat unpredictable natural element.

The interior is cramped. Mathieu shares this living space with a huge Alaskan dog named Tico. It took planning to 'squeeze' the bare minimum necessary for life and survival for dog and man aboard the craft. But that's a lot: the emergency kit to navigation equipment and communication, through all the electronic equipment needed including a gun should a bear attack, a hood for protection from the cold a central heating (a lightweight lithium battery solar panels were designed), food, etc... Noting that this is also a challenge in itself! 

Within three months, the boat Mathieu built was born in the shipyard of La Trinité-sur-Mer after an architect had drawn plans. Many tests were necessary and updates to successfully correct the "imperfections". He also had to test autorighting roll-over, as it is imperative to consider all survival situations ... even the worst - a knockdown in the Arctic sea.


Mathieu Bonnier successfully tests his rowboat to autoright in the event of a knockdown

Mise à l'eau

Video url:

Baptême - 26 mai 2010

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