The 10 metre sailing vessel Berrimilla recently completed a circumnavigation of
the world via Cape Horn and the
Berrimilla sailing into Sydney, Dec 20 2005. Sydney - Hobart 2004, Fastnet 2005 and Sydney Hobart 2005 battle flags.
As a result of this contact, Alex and Peter were invited by Leroy Chiao, who was the Commander of the ISS during their contacts to give a presentation about Berrimilla’s voyage to a Symposium on Risk at
Awesome line up of some of the participants.
Ken Kamler, Pascal Lee, Jim
Pawelczyk, back Dale Andersen, front Keith Cowing, Suni Williams, back John
Finley, front Leroy Chiao, back Fred Rainey, front Eileen Collins, back Michael
Lopez-Alegria, back Vince LiCata, front William Anders, back Sean O'Keefe, Matt
Reyes, back Jjim Fowler, Pete Crozier, Alex Whitworth, John Grunsfeld and Bill
After the Symposium, in a bar on the edge of LSU Campus, Pascal Lee drew a map in Alex’s notebook and, perhaps foolishly, signed it.
This became an invitation to undertake another,
rather more symbolic voyage through the North West Passage to link up with NASA’s
Haughton-Mars Project on
It seemed like a neat idea and there were lots of
suggestions about how it could be used for educational purposes - the whole
concept is full of opportunities to demonstrate aspects of science, history,
environmental change, planning and human relationships in difficult
Planning is now at the stage when we know that the voyage is Go unless something breaks in the meantime. Peter Crozier is unable to sail this time, for family reasons. His place has been taken by Corrie McQueen, also a circumnavigator and who has sailed from the
The plan is for Berrimilla to depart
A third crew member, Kimbra Lindus, will fly into
After refueling and restocking with beer in
Berrimilla will probably enter the North West Passage from the Amundsen Gulf and sail south of Victoria Island, through
Pascal and the
The intention is to be absolutely self sufficient for the whole journey through the North West Passage, leaving a minimal environmental footprint and without recourse to the limited supplies and facilities of small local communities to sustain the voyage.
Communications throughout will be via HF radio and email, backed up by Iridium phone and SatC. However, the cost of Iridium and SatC will preclude using these for extensive contact. There will be a new web page linked from the Berrimilla.com site and daily updates will be posted. Interested followers will be able to email the crew and Iridium calls could be arranged. The voyage will be recorded on video and webcam as well as in still photographs but there will be very limited opportunity for real time internet links.
The website is being run from the
After the HMP linkup, Berrimilla will have to continue east into the
The weather during the voyage is not expected to be severe, given the time of year and other factors, but the limiting element in the plan is likely be the state of the ice and the depth of ice free water to the north of the American mainland and in the North West Passage itself.
© Picture: J. Herrington