North-West Passage – 2003

Vagabond around the Arctic

On 12th May 2002, Vagabond left Saint-Quay-Portrieux (Brittany, France) with equipment and food for more than one year, ready to winter somewhere in Siberia

On 31st August 2002, Vagabond crossed Bering Strait and became the first yacht to sail the North-East Passage without wintering, and without icebreaker (1st part of the Polar Circumnavigation). Her crew has won Awards from Alain Bombard, the Yacht Club de France, the Royal Cruising Club, and the Ocean Cruising Club.

On 1st April 2003, the polar yacht left Kamchatka where she was wintering, and sailed to Japan for a very expected stop in Nagoya, birthplace of the captain, where is taking place an important sailing event at the end of May, the Erika Cup.

In June 2003, Vagabond sailed across North Pacific up to Bering Strait. She passed Kuril Islands, following the route of La Pérouse, and stopped at Bering Island, named after death of the famous explorer ; then she sailed to Yttigran Island in Chukotka, where is the shaman site Whale Alley.

By the end of July 2003, as soon as ice conditions were fine, Vagabond entered the North-West Passage, the sea route going from Bering Strait to Greenland, via Alaska and Canada. Besides completion of the Arctic circum-navigation (map), by sailing the two famous Passages one after the other, Vagabond looked at some remains on Franklin's wrecks, Terror and Erebus, and at Roald Amundsen's story, first to sail the North-West Passage, who arrived at Gjoa Haven exactly 100 years before Vagabond (see commemorating envelop).

Vagabond arrived in Saint-Quay-Portrieux, her home port, on October 13th 2003, despite very difficult ice conditions in Canadian Arctic. Then she was shown at the Paris Boat Show in December 2003. Before that, the 52 minutes film of the first part of the expedition was broadcasted on French TV (France 5), at the end of June. All along the expedition, follow up was on Internet thanks to a satellite link from aboard.

Vagabond's crew, whose cohesion and commitment allow discovering on sail the most remote places and people in the Arctic, is happy to share the adventure.

Contacts: eric[a] (address checked only in harbours)

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