British sailor completes first vertical circumnavigation

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British sailor Adrian Flanagan is expected to arrive at the Royal Southern Yacht Club in Southampton, England, at 10 a.m. local time today after completing his 30,000-mile trip around the world, going westward around Cape Horn and along the Russian Arctic Coast in his 38-foot stainless steel yacht, Barrabas, according to a press release.

Flanagan originally started his journey in October 2005 and was forced twice to stop his quest. One of only six yachts to be given permission to pass through the Northern Sea Route by Russian authorities, Flanagan decided to go it alone without an ice pilot. However, he was forced to store Barrabas in Nome, Alaska, for the winter of 2006 when bureaucratic delays stopped him from entering the politically sensitive area of northern Russia, according to the report.

In July 2007, Flanagan’s journey continued, sailing 2,000 miles of the Northern Sea Route before solid ice blocked his path. An icebreaker from Russia transported Flanagan and the vessel to Murmansk, and the boat was wintered in Mehamn, in northern Norway, before he returned May 1 to finish the job.

“To live, but not to dream, is pointless. But to dream and not to live it is worse,” said Flanagan of his journey in the release.

Flanagan’s book about his journey, to be titled “Over The Top,” will be published Oct. 9 by Weidenfeld & Nicolson.

— Elizabeth Ellis