Adventure sailor could be grounded - Soundings Online

Adventure sailor could be grounded

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JULY 21 — A British businessman attempting to become the first person to single-handedly circumnavigate the world west-about via the Polar Regions suffered another setback this month — one that could spell the end of his voyage.

Adrian Flanagan, aboard his 36-foot stainless steel sloop, Barrabas, discovered damage to the propeller shaft that effectively makes using his engine impossible, he reports on his Alpha Global ExpeditionWeb site. Flanagan set off from Southampton, England, Oct. 28, 2005.

“The Arctic phase cannot be countenanced without the engine,” Flanagan, who is 45, writes on the site. “Conditions are often windless and in the pack [ice] it is best to assume the ice is concrete — so a degree of tight maneuvering is necessary to avoid scrapes and collisions which would be impossible to achieve under sail.”

Flanagan says he plans to put in for repairs at Nome, in northwestern Alaska. If he arrives by Aug. 10 and sets off again by Aug. 14 Flanagan hopes to be able to make it north through the Bering Strait and to the entrance to the Northern Sea route.

“At the outset of the Alpha Global Expedition, I determined that I would go over the top, and over the top I will go,” Flanagan writes. “If it is not to be this season, then Barrabas can winter over in Nome and I will return to her next summer.

“Whatever it takes,” he continues, “I will bring Barrabas home with the feel of ice on her bow.”

? Jason Fell