Belzebub II's Arctic breakthrough, Laura Dekker arrives NZ
Two adventure sailing expeditions in the news this week. Up in the Arctic a Hallberg Rassy fibreglass yacht has been the first sailing boat to negotiate the 'high route' of the Northwest Passage – 'something we should NOT have been able to do,' observed the skipper, Canadian sailor Nicholas Peissel.
He directly attributes Belzebub II's success to global warming and the fresh-water ice that is dumping in ever increasing loads into the salt-waters of the world's oceans.
The other adventure sailor in the news, still-sixteen-year-old Laura Dekker, arrived in her 'home port' finally, after becoming (by many months) the youngest sailor to circumnavigate the world solo when she finished that voyage in January last year in the Caribbean.
Laura Dekker talking to reporters on arrival in New Zealand .. .
She is to make her home in New Zealand, where she was born on her parents's boat, traumatised by the Dutch government's attempt to stop her solo journey.
What a difference from the arrival home of Australian teen sailor Jessica Watson. Many thousands lined the shores of Sydney Harbour to welcome Jessica on her arrival in May 2010, three days before her 17th birthday. The arrival was televised nation-wide. Her welcome speech was by no less than Australia's Prime Minister.
By contrast Laura Dekker's name is hardly known outside the cruising sailor community and she was greeted by just a few dedicated journalists. But then, while the Dutch government was doing its best to prevent her attempt to complete a circumnavigation and making her a state ward for a time, Jessica's family had hired a PR company which followed her every move most competently so that Jessica was already a sailing star before she was half way round the world.
Laura, who, remember, completed her journey in January, will turn seventeen quietly on 20th September.
What else is news? A couple of this week's articles might give pause to some cruising sailors – the dangers of carbon monoxide on a sailing boat is outlined by RYA's Stuart Carruthers and the value of carrying an EPIRB is the message in another rescue story.
Read how Up in the Whitsundays Superyacht Australia is lobbying for access to more of the Barrier Reef waters; world-wide rescue response is about to get even faster; more sailing knot secrets from John Jamieson; and test your judgment in a sailing boat collision case outlined by Chuck Fort.
That's just the tip of the (melting) iceberg of news and articles, so browse the headlines, and...
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