Norseboat 17.5 Travels 1400 Miles Through Arctic -Royal
Marines successfully navigate Northwest Passage in 17.5 ft.
September 9, 2009, Belfast, PEI, Canada - Lieutenant Colonel
Kevin Oliver and Major Tony Lancashire of the British Royal
Marines sailed, rowed and when necessary dragged their NorseBoat
17.5 across the ice in a historic 1400 mile voyage through the
arctic's Northwest Passage.
||For centuries the Northwest Passage has been
a lure to adventurers and explorers seeking a northern link
between the Atlantic and the Pacific Ocean.
||The expedition was conceived to support the
UK based charity 'Toe in the Water', which uses adventure
sailing to rehabilitate men and women injured serving their
country. Through the expedition the marines were able to
raise awareness and significant funding for the charity.
||A NorseBoat 17.5 sailing & rowing cruiser
was chosen by the marines for its seaworthiness and versatility.
Built in the Canadian Maritimes by NorseBoat Limited, this
craft blends high performance with classic lines.
||It can be sailed, rowed by one or two persons,
and used as a camp cruiser with its abundant storage and
sheltered camping accommodations.
||NorseBoat president Kevin Jeffrey performed
sea trials with the marines at Quantico Marine base in Virginia
early May 2009. The boat was shipped to the arctic in June
and the marines began their expedition on July 24, 2009
from the town of Inuvik located on the Mackenzie river 2
degrees above the arctic circle.
||After reaching the Beaufort Sea they travelled
east toward the Canadian territory of Nunavut. It took them
42 days to reach Gjoa Haven on King William Island.
The two adventurers encountered a wide range of conditions
- sailing to windward in extreme conditions, rowing on glassy
seas, sailing steadily at 6 knots with strong following winds,
and being locked in ice floes for days on end. They also encountered
charging bears, curious whales, and the warm, friendly people
who inhabit the arctic.
At the successful conclusion of the voyage Kevin Oliver and
Tony Lancashire gave a glowing report of their NorseBoat:
"Arctic Mariner has been our home for six weeks, and she
has been superb. She has been out in big seas...on, into and
off the ice, beached on rocks, and there are no dents in her
hull, just the odd scratch. Her rig is simple and robust, and
she can be rowed at over 3 knots by one person. And everywhere
we go, people say how pretty her lines are.”
Kevin Oliver said of the voyage: "This has not been all
plain sailing, we have had 90 per cent more ice than the seasonal
norm and as a consequence have had to drag the boat across ice
as well as row and sail it." "The weather and local
wildlife has provided us with a number of heart-stopping moments
which rank among the most memorable of the trip, all of which
was topped off by the hospitality of the people we met. A great
adventure!" Tony Lancashire added: "Every one of the
42 days has offered a unique experience, from the Arctic landscape
and wildlife to the incredibly hospitable people that we have
met in the northern communities."
To find out more about NorseBoat sailing & rowing cruisers
For more details of the Arctic Mariner Expedition or to make
donations to Toe In The Water charity visit http://www.arcticmariner.org.