Kiwi Yachtsman, Graeme Kendall, completes world sailing firsts;
Arctic North West Passage solo, non stop, unassisted & in a record 12 days
.

 

 

View old website
(from the first leg of the Astral Express voyage.)

During his successful single handed 28,000 mile circumnavigation, Graeme sailed 32 of the worlds seaways and oceans, east to west, a course never before sailed solo.
click here to see the course.




Graeme Receives Royal Honour


Graeme Kendall, MNZM
For services to sailing and philanthropy.

In 2010 Mr Graeme Kendall completed a solo circumnavigation from Auckland to Auckland, via the Arctic Northwest Passage. The course covered 28,000 nautical miles and 32 oceans and seaways. He was the first person to sail the Northwest Passage solo non-stop. Known by sailors as 'the Everest of the sailing world', the Arctic NorthWest Passage is only open for a short time every year because of pack ice, and is known for its treacherous waters. Mr Kendall sailed through the Passage in just 12 days, one of the shortest sailing times for the Passage ever. His journey rates as one of New Zealand’s great expedition achievements. During his trip, he raised funds for New Zealand charities including Variety – The Children’s Charity, the Cholmondeley Home, Christchurch, and the Christchurch Bone Marrow Trust. Mr Kendall received the Yachting New Zealand Cruising Award from the New Zealand Royal Yacht Squadron in 2010 and the National Geographic award for being one of the top 10 global adventurers of 2010.

Update 01/12/2010

Graeme Receives 'Yachting New Zealand' Cruising Award


 


Update 19/11/2010

Global warming. No I am not an expert but I sure do get a lot of questions. My view; all pollution is bad and I did notice more of it in the northern hemisphere where most of the worlds population lives. The Arctic appears to have less ice each season at the moment, but this is probably cyclic and might not be the case in a few years time. I have been lucky to use the mostly ice free waters to sail the north west passage in 2010 as did amunsden in 1903. Maybe the Antarctic is not any warmer than usual at present, perhaps this is why scientists etc are using the phrase' climate change' instead of 'global warming' as the changes seem to be isolated and more prominent in the Northern hemisphere. The dynamics between the earth and the sun are so enormous that it must be very difficult to prove a greenhouse effect... especially over such a short period of time like the last few decades.



Update 08/11/2010

Referring to my log book, I recorded a total distance from Lancaster Sound to Barrow Point of 1,782 miles at an average speed of 146 miles per day. The slowest being 106 through Queen Maude Gulf and the fastest 185 in the Beaufort Sea. The short cut via Victoria Strait saved about 140 miles and more than a days sailing. I had estimated to take about 2 weeks to sail the NW passage providing I had no problems with ice and head winds. So to do it in a record 12 days didn't really surprise me asmost boats stop for sight-seeing and provisioning or repairs and i did it non-stop. My average speed for the whole 68 day 10,000 mile voyage from Nuuk to Auckland was 148 miles per day which is similar to my average speed on the outward journey . In 2005 this part of the voyage took 125 days and covered 18,300 miles. Sailing the north west passage from east to west proved favourable for me with currents generally in the right direction and winds more so. The only downside was having to push current and often unfavourable & sometimes gail force winds through Bering Strait & Bering Sea. The lows that come through this area in early October are intense & relentless.


Email from Peter Semotuik:
(Peter has monitored all vessels through the North West Passage for the past 30 years)

Dear Graeme -

Congratulations on accomplishing a non-stop, single handed sail from Nuuk, Greenland to Auckland, New Zealand; through the Northwest Passage.

I have checked my records for solo Northwest Passage attempts; there weren't many.

You are the first to have made it through solo non-stop, and in record time by sailing it in one season (2010).

There were two previous solo attempts, one was done in one season, by a motor vessel that had made stops, and the other was by a sail boat that took three seasons, and most likely used the engine.


Peter Semotiuk
Cambridge Bay, Nunavut
Canada

 

 

Email from Nuuk Transport, Greenland:

"To Graeme

Very big congratulations from all of us at Nuuk Transport office. We have followed your trip every day with excitement and prayed for your safe homecoming to New Zealand.

What a journey, and what a performance.

You truly earned a medal for your great achievement, since you are one of the last pioneers. Your name should rank among Robert Scott, Roald Amundsen, Thomas Cook and Niel Armstrong.

regards

Inussiarnersumik inuulluaqusilluta/Med venlig hilsen

Fridrikur Blahamar Hansen

 

Update 29/10/2010

"Getting over the festivities of arriving and such a warm welcome it was. Took Edward, family and friends for an afternoon sail on Waitemata Harbour yesterday afternoon. Washed the salt off the boat, put water in the tank and away we went for a few hours. So pleased that the boat was in such good shape to be able to take it out for a sail the following day.

So special to have Edward and his family come over and see them again on my arrival, and a fond farewell at the airport this morniing. It has been decided to now sell the boat and I am going to spend the next few weeks getting the boat serviced. Any enquiries please feel free to get in touch.

Great to have feet on dry land and have fresh food that I don't have to cook myself! Still a bit wobbly (I don't think it's the alcohol!) but starting to re-adjust.

I'll be looking to keep updating this site on a weekly basis with further info on my journey.

Cheers, GK
"

Email: gk@astralexpress.com | Phone: +64 21 440 424


Welcome home Graeme!


Photo: Richard Robinson


Update 27/10/2010

"Day 68, nice morning on Hauraki Gulf - big day ahead as I arrive in Auckland - proud to have flown the flag for New Zealand and Greenland and being successful in my endeavors.

Thanks to all those involved from a grateful Graeme Kendall."

 

 

Email received from Arctic rower Mathieu Bonnier:

So tomorrow, I'll be very happy for the extraordinary way Graeme imagined and realized this fantastic Sailing World tour. And also very sad, not being with all of you to welcome, a strong and fair guy, a real and simple champion.

Thinking to our last meeting in Victoria Strait (31 of August), I saw that he put all his life sailing experience in this big project. I thought that just to think, imagine and prepare such a big journey was a great performance. But after such a trip, first man to sail the North West Passage alone, first to realize a great Tour du Monde through the far North, WHAAAAOUUU! Every body knew that Graeme was a big and competent sailor, but now, every body knows that a dreamer realized his dream. His name is Graeme Kendall. Good job, Graeme, the World is yours...

Congratulation for the way you did it, all the best to you,
take care
Mathieu

 


Update 26/10/2010

"Great way to arrive into New Zealand waters with an escort of dolphins. Beautiful morning calm sea, light wind, clear sky and land fall on Poor Knights Islands ahead. Barometer high and forecast is good. It's like a pat on the back after encountering all extremes during this 10,000 mile journey. Boat is ship shape with one day to go. Can confirm arrival tomorrow 4-5pm Viaduct Central Auckland . "

Click here to view Graeme's current position. (35.20S, 174.47E)

 


Update 25/10/2010

"Easy 10 knt NE, cruising nicely to our destination. Water temp is now 18degs C. Had a hot shower this morning and I have enough water for one more. Big welcome to New Zealand and hi to Edward, Birgit and Simon who have flown specially over from Greenland to meet me on my arrival. Approaching New Zealand waters and feeling a sense of achievement with only two days to go and a good weather forecast. I'm looking forward to arriving safely in Auckland with everything intact."

 

Update 24/10/2010

"Looking forward to getting into Auckland and now reflecting on what has been a most amazing journey for mind body and soul, not to mention the boat. Wind has freed up and sailing swiftly on course. Home seemed a long way away at 700 miles out with head winds but now now only 400miles to go and cruising nicely on a 3 sail reach. Wind is ENE about 20 knts. Seas temperature is 19 degrees and the air temp is similar. Starting to wear more clothes and have soup again!"

Click here to view Graeme's current position. (30.30S, 174.47E)

Update 23/10/2010

"It's been a struggle to get through the last few degrees, wind seems to be freeing up to the East but still swinging a lot and I can only sometimes lay a course for Auckland. Since Greenland have been 63 days at sea and covered just over 9,000nm. "

 

Update 22/10/2010

"This morning I spoke to Peter in cambridge bay in the central North West Passage. He was saying there that the sea temp is now zero and the whole area is now icing up. The North West Passage was freezing by October the 3rd and its dark all day now. The 2,000 nautical miles of seaway that I sailed from Lancaster Sound to Point Barrow in Alaska will now be frozen. Sea temp here now is 25 degsC and its starting to cool off, waiting for a break in the weather! Struggling to make 100 miles a day, light aired winds swinging and fluctuating all the time, hard to hold course. Seas are confused just like me! Getting broken sleep but all good onboard, roll on Auckland, cant predict an ETA at this stage."

Click here to view Graeme's current position. (26S, 175.45E)

 

Update 21/10/2010

"Harrowing day yesterday! Head winds shifting every 30 minutes, confused sea, overcast. Yuck! This morning tending SW and trying to lay SSE at 4knts, seas lumpy but it's a sunny day. Hopefully the wind will clock round but forecast doesnt look good. Not getting much closer to home at this rate, will be the worst days run yet. Sea temp 26degs C, 750.5 miles to go, I'm glad the world isnt any bigger!"

Click here to view Graeme's current position. (24.20 175.31E)

Update 20/10/2010

"It's been a long way since 74 degrees north but it will be rewarding to have sailed the full length of the Pacific. In 2005 I sailed the full length Indian Ocean and the same with the South and North Atlantic. My last landfall in the South atlantic was the Cape of Good Hope and my next landfall was Godhab, which means 'good hope', this is the alternate name for Nuuk the capital of Greenland. From Good Hope to Good Hope was 8,200 miles which is one the longest straight line landfalls you can make. "

Click here to view Graeme's current position. (22.35S, 175.54E)

 

Update 19/10/2010

"At the beginning of this part of the voyage from Greenland I wrote vigilance and diligence. So far so good with 980 miles to run to Auckland! I've got light ESE trying to make maximise boat speed. Starting to tidy things up, she's now a light ship with fuel and water now lower."

Click here to view Graeme's current position. (20.25S, 176.13E)

 

Update 18/10/2010

"I'm now sailing past Fiji, with the Yasawa Islands on my port side so I now have a clear run to Auckland, after having safely run the gauntlet of the hundreds of islands in the Pacific. Currently enjoying a fresh NE trade wind of 15 - 20 knts. Subject to weather I'm hoping to be into the Viaduct Harbour in Auckland mid afternoon on Monday the 25th. "



Update 17/10/2010

"I'm another year older today! Had a beautiful sunrise with calm light easterly slowly increasing but it's going to be a hot one! Saw the green flash at sunset last night, not many have seen it, there is a lot of conjecture about it. It only occurs when there are no clouds on the horizon and the last rays of the sun strike the top of the water on the horizon and the colour momentarily turns to turquoise... this is know as the green flash.

Spoke to Captian cook last night, spent some time this morning fending off mermaids trying to get on the back of the boat, otherwise all ok!"

Click here to view Graeme's current position. (15.00S 177E)

Update 16/10/2010

"I'm now passing Rotuma Island, the most northern of the Fiji group and Fiji is now about 300 miles away. Light conditions, trying to etch out some speed. High cloud with a light NE. Foods holding up ok but the choice aint that good! Otherwise everything is all good onboard."

Click here to view Graeme's current position. (12.30S, 177.30E)


Update 15/10/2010

"I'm trucking along in the rain, sails are clean and salts off the deck. Everything washed. Ratuma Island looming closer 200 miles ahead and then it's down the line to NZ. Wind has eased off so hopefully there is a bit more ahead. I caught another fish this morning... almost. Got him close to the boat and the hook came out which was frustrating, it was a beautiful looking blue fin tuna about 1 meter long.

I have now clocked over 8,000 miles in this leg of the journey since leaving Greenland 56 days ago."

Click here to view Graeme's current position. (9.27S, 177.58E)

 

Update 14/10/2010

"Sailing past Tuvalu Island also known as Ellice Island with Rotuma Island 250 miles ahead. Catching up with the sun as it moves south, directly over head now and very hot. Starting to see flying fish, they can fly for a bout 100 meters, now I've seen birds that swim under the water and fish that fly - go charles darwin!"

(6.58S, 178.26E)

 

 

Update 13/10/2010

"Nice easy ENE, 3 sail reaching at the moment. Extra staysail helping to keep boats course straight. Perfect sailing conditions, clear skies, the odd cotton wool cloud. Should carve off 3degs today. Havent had to run the engine now for over a week. Fuel, food, water etc all good. Counting down. New moon coming in very bright, the full moon is going to be like daylight!

Special thanks for the support, especially my partner Francesca helping in Auckland, I will be home soon."

Click here to view Graeme's current position. (3.48S, 178.37E)

 

Update 12/10/2010

I crossed the equator early this morning and celebrated with my last beer!

Any nervousness I've had during the trip has been fear of breakage on the boat that would prevent the goal being achieved as planned, rather than any safety issue. Unlike the Team New Zealand boat that gets a refit every night or a round the world race yacht that stops at ports and gets a refit each time, I have to finish with what I started so boat preservation has been top priority..

After having crossed the equator on this epoch journey, I feel Auckland is now a distinct possibility, I can almost see the sky tower! This is my 53rd day since leaving Nuuk, Greenland and I have covered 7,500 miles with Just over 2,000 to go which should take around 2 weeks. Fiji is now 1,000 miles away and Im catching Skipjack tuna!

Click here to view Graeme's current position. (1S, 178.53E)

Update 11/10/2010

"I caught another fish last night, a Skipjack Tuna about half a meter long. The timing wasn't perfect again as I'd just finished dinner but still great to have some fresh food.

Nice sailing wind today, east 15knts, seas are down and I'm on a tight reach doing 7-8knts. I should be able to carry this wind for a few days.
"

Click here to view Graeme's current position. (1.46N, 179.08E)

Update 10/10/2010

"Torrid. SE 25knts with current against, seas are all over the place. I've been falling off waves and taking the odd one over the top, but moving on at about 7-8knts, staysail and one reef. Weather should ease under 3degsN when the current starts moving to the west. It's like being in a washing machine or a horses stomach at full gallop!

There is lots of rubbish in the water in the northern hemisphere that you dont see in the south, there's also more air pollution in the north. If the Arctic is melting more now because of peoples consumption, it is because the northern hemisphere is over populated. The world is top heavy. Al Gore should sell his Cadillac and move to the south!

Now at 4.23N, 179.41E (now E as have passed international dateline) and making good progress."

Click here to view Graeme's current position.

 

Update 09/10/2010

"There are four phases to this trip; Baffin Bay (Nuuk to Lancaster Sound) which took 6 days, the North West Passage itself, Bering Strait and the Aluetians Islands, and now the Pacific Ocean. Each have had their own different challenges.

Trade wind sailing now with regular squalls of rain, but I have been able to enjoy a regular cold shower. The temp inside the cabin at noon today was 34 degs C. The Equatorial Convergence Zone runs between 3degs North and 8degs North, also known as the doldrums. Any good sailing through here is a bonus and so far so good! I've now been 10 days on port tack"

Click here to view Graeme's current position. (6.30N, 179.46W)

 

Update 08/10/2010

"Now in my 7th week at sea. Weather is now overcast with occasional rain squalls and I had a bit of lightning through the night and blustery winds so having to reef in, reef out. Very humid now but I have been able to collect a good amount of rain water from the spray dodger so tanks are full.

I listen to music everyday, I have 8,000 songs to choose from, which I can play through the speakers as there's no one to wake up! I've run out of eggs today so I'm ready for a fish!"

Click here to view Graeme's current position. (9.48N, 179.27W)

 

Update 07/10/2010

"I'm now 750miles from the equator, 1,750 miles from Fiji and 2,950 miles from good old New Zealand.

I'm keen to see the boat out of the water becuase there are quite a few pieces of ice in the Arctic and North West Passage with blue paint on them! My cold climate clothes are now packed away and I need to read my notes to remind myself that it all actually happened."

(12.48N, 17.05W)

Update 06/10/2010

"Happy Birthday Nathan Kendall!

Just passing Schjetman Reef (hopefully!) above the equator. I've got cotton wool clouds and really hot weather now, currently 33 degs C and sea temp is 31. Doing the usual 7-8 knts on a reach. No fish to report, think I may need to be closer to land, so cooking up rice and tinned tuna for lunch. I don't have any fresh food left so I have to cook which isn't ideal in this heat!

Solar desalination must be the answer, there is plenty of sun and water everywhere."

Click here to view Graeme's current position. (14.55N, 178.42W)


Update 03/10/2010

"Nice trade winds at the moment, they tend E to NE above the equator and E to SE below the equator. Winds vary in strength and direction during the day but squalls get to abotu 20 knts max. My current latitude is inline with Hong Kong and Hawaii and water temp is 30.8 degs C, and getting very hot. Today is probably one of the most settled days yet, blues sea, blue skies with a couple of white clouds and steady wind, have been maintaining 7-8knts."

Click here to view Graeme's current position. (21.48N, 178.12W)

 

Update 02/10/2010

"The wind is now round to the east and has eased off, sailing with headsail and one reef in the main, doing 7knts on course. Water temp is now up to 30.2degs and it's pretty hot here. Batteries are all up with good charge going in from solar and wind generator. It's partly cloudy now, some rain would be nice to clean the boat and stock up my water levels."

Click here to view Graeme's current position. (24.36N, 177.50W)

Update 01/10/2010

"I'm barrelling along at 8-9knots and hope to hold this course all the way to New Zealand. I just passed Midway Island 12 miles to starboard. The sea temperature is now up to 29.4 degs C and it is 26.7 degs inside. I caught another Mahi Mahi last night which was great but I prefer to catch them during the day as its a long time until lunch or dinner without anything to keep it cool.

I've now sailed 5,700 miles and I have 3,800 to go. I had my best days sailing yesterday covering 192 NM so making good progress. "

Click here to view Graeme's current position. (27.35N, 177.09W)

 

Update 30/09/2010

"I have NE trade winds and am on an easy reach. Winds are about 20knts and I'm doing 8knts and I'm hoping that I'll be able to carry this wind right to the equator. I have the fuel pumped up to the starboard side so the boat is quite stable. I've also changed over the autopilot so hoping this one won't come unstuck as much. Water temp is now up to 29degs C! Had a great dinner last night of fresh Mahi Mahi."

Click here to view Graeme's current position.

Update 29/09/2010

"Caught my first fish of the trip today! A nice Mahi Mahi; not a big one, around 6kg, which is perfect. Great to have some fresh food again for dinner tonight!

I'm now 300 miles north of the Midway islands in the Hawaiian group, have seen the green flash at sunset for the past couple of nights now. Lots of bird life around the boat, the jumbo Albatross hardly moves its wings making the smaller birds look like butterflies. They fly to catch fish for food, to keep flying to catch fish.

I have a 25knt NNE wind, one reef in the main and doing around 8 - 9 knts surging to 12 knts at times."

Click here to view Graeme's current position. (33.34N, 176.14W)

Update 28/09/2010

"Seas are calm and water temp is now up to 25.3 degs C making my through a high pressure system and looking for SE trade winds ahead. I have about 8knts of wind and doing 5 -6 knts, sea is dead calm so very comfortable onboard and have caught up on a bit of sleep."

Update 27/09/2010

"Is this the same planet?! Not a cloud in the sky, fishing lines out and shorts on. I got 12 jobs done around the boat yesterday so all back to normal... even me. Weather forecast is looking pretty good too"

Update 26/09/2010

"Paradise sailing today! High of 1029, light NW winds, clear skies and slight sea. I got all the deck jobs done that needed attention after the second bout of bad weather I've had since entering the Pacific. Great sailing now though, this is what it's all about! Water temperature is now up to 20 degs C. I have another huge low out to the west so I am keeping an eye on that.
Cheers GK "

Click here to view Graeme's current position.

Update 25/09/2010

"Another night of drama, bare poles again with winds of 40 - 50knts from another deep low. At least I was on the right side of it though; gale force NW winds instead of SW so I'm heading in the right direction as I just have to run with the weather. You can run but you can't hide!

The staysail needs a couple of stitches but otherwise all ok. I haven't slept in a while, just been having cat naps in my chair but have had a coffee and some breakfast. The wind has died of a bit now but the seas are huge again, not quite as big as they had been a couple of days ago. At one point in that storm I was preparing to fasten things down in case the boat rolled... especially the rum! There have been a few larger waves breaking over the boat but it seems to be handling it all ok.

Water temperature is now 17.2 degs C, I have two Albatross flying around the boat which is nice to see. Wind is easing so i have two reefs in the main now and doing about 8 knots."

Click here to view Graeme's current position.

 

Update 24/09/2010

"What a great boat, she's in perfect condition. I surveyed the deck this morning and everything is holding up really well. I'm a bit battered and bruised however and nerves are a bit frayed but a couple more days like this and I'll be in great shape.

I have a WNW of 15knts and seas have dropped. I'm doing 7knts on course due south, it feels like trade wind sailing. The sea temp is starting to warm up a bit which is now 15 deg C. The boats dry and generally feeling a lot warmer so starting to get a bit more comfortable onboard."

Click here to view Graeme's current position.


Update 23/09/2010

"I am now half way between Nuuk in Greenland, where I started this leg, and Auckland, my final destination. I'm half way and have half water, half fuel and half rum so things are looking good! The past 24 hours have been pretty challenging with 45 -50 knts and huge seas, it's like sailing over small hills with swells up to 20ft. The boat has been handling really well but I did break a main sheet during the night. Once the winds dropped back a bit I had the main up with 2 reefs, doing 8knts and the boat gybed which broke the mainsheet just above the back block, obviously it had had a bit of wear. I managed to fix it in the morning so it is good as new again. The auto pilot was struggling a little in the big sea which is what caused the boat to gybe.

I am nowing enjoying cooking and being able to have a decent sleep, in the weather I have been in I have only been able to snack and cat nap so looking froward to re-charging.
"


Update 22/09/2010

"I entered the Pacific Ocean yesterday afternoon in moderate conditions which have worsened. Currently running under bare poles (no sails) with winds gusting 45 to 50 knots from the WNW. I'm heading south east doing about 6-7knots, I'm hoping conditions will ease as I head further SE. It's great to finally be back in the Pacific but not in this weather!"

Click here to view Graeme's current position.

 

Update 21/09/2010

"Heading slowly south through Adak Strait, I am sheltered by a bay on the north of Kanaga Island. Taking my time as wind has been gusting up to 45 knts so in no hurry to get into more open water with current weather. Where I am now the water is pretty calm but I'll head out to assess conditions. There has been a rescue north of me by helicopter, sounds like a fishing boat is in a bit of trouble. All good onboard."

 

Update 20/09/2010

"I'm 60 m north of Kanaga Island with a pass to the west. Heavy weather, isobar 982 and have WNW 25knts so on course doing 6-7knts. Now about a days run (120miles) and will be very relieved to be out of here!"

Click here to view Graeme's current position.

Update 19/09/2010

"Currently in a moderate gale with a deep low 200 miles to the west which is slowly moving NW. Had a bit of drama last night when winds picked up to 30 - 35knts, I tried to pull the headsail in at around 3am but it jammed half way so had to run with it until day break. I have been able to furl it away now but I lost a halyard in the process. It was the main halyard for the MPS which is a bit of a nuisance but could have been a lot worse. I had a beer for breakfast to celebrate..."

Click here to view Graeme's current position.

 

Update 18/09/2010

"Still sliding along nicely, days run at 171NM. Skies are grey and of course so is the sea, I have just put up the MPS so that has brightened things up! (It's bright orange). Sea temp is 11.8 deg C and although I am moving South it is getting colder each day as winter approaches. Further north the sea temp in this area in December gets down to -24! Current is now changing with tides.

Mathieu Bonnier, my North West passage rowing friend, rang from France for and update on my progress and I thanked him for the french cheese that he gave me.

The Aleutian Islands are now just under 300miles away. 10 miles north of Adak in the Aleutians, is a chemical amunitions dumping area. It's now disused but i wonder how it affects the fish?!

The low I have been tracking has filled in but there is another one approaching at 49N 165E which I'll be keeping an eye on but all is well onboard. "


Update 17/09/2010

"Dancing along at 7-8knts wind ENE 15-20knts. On course heading SSW, at this stage heading for Amchitka Pass in the Aleutian's which is about 400 miles away. Keeping an eye on a lowpressure system at 48N 175W which now looks to be stationary and weakening but I am on the right side of it and thats helping progress. Just passed St Matthew Island and on the same latitude as Anchorage. All good here, Cheers GK."

Click here to view Graeme's current position.

Update 16/09/2010

"I have a nice 10-15k ESE currently and I have set a waypoint for NZ & sailing on course @5-7knts, feels good to be heading toward more familiar waters! Barometer up, water temp 11.6 & 13.5 inside."

 

Update 15/09/2010

"Had a good run & the current is easing, must be horrific in Bering Strait in a strong northerly against the 2knot current! Anyway, clear of all that now and just passing on the west coast of St Lawrence Island. Coast of Russia is 15m to the west who sold Alaska, I bet they were sent to the Siberian salt mines! Heading for the Alluetian Islands & planning a suitable course to NZ which is exactly 5990miles away.

TAM (means the ancient marriner, thought it sounded better than old sailor)"

Click here to view Graeme's current position.

 

Update 14/09/2010

"Got a good 5 hours sleep last night and wind has eased back. Now sailing SSW at about 6knts, one reef in main and staysail - wind has been tending SE. I hit another couple of huge sealions (what I previously thought were Beluga whales), they looked pretty pissed off but escaped unharmed. Cheers, TAM"

 

Update 13/09/2010

"Made some good ground overnight although having a strong Southerly early this morning was quite hard going. I have been sitting in behind Little Diomede Island with wind and current keeping me quite stable and in a fixed position. This island is amazing and this area seems to be full of life. I had a pod of Beluga whales swimming around the boat further out the strait, one actually hit the hull of the boat! Happy to report boat and whale both ok.

I am next to sheer cliffs with thousands of birds and walruss' all around so enjoying the scenery. Further around the island the wind is gusting to 45knts with large seas so just holding fire to let the worst of the weather subside

Little Diomede is American territory, just to the west is Big Diomede Island which is actually Russian territory and the two islands (which are only a kilometer or so apart) are separated by the international date line so are a day ahead - interesting place!"

Click here to view Graeme's current position.

 

Update 12/09/2010

"Had two reefs in the main last night but now on full sail. On course for Bering Strait, definitely looking forward to getting through here! It is starting to get warmer though now at 67degs North.

Thanks too to my son Joel who has been managing my weather reports and updating this site for me. He can be contacted on the details below with any enquiries otherwise feel free to text me on the number at the top of the page; where I am at the moment email is a little intermittent."

Joel Kendall
021 440 424
joel@retailonsale.co.nz

Click here to view Graeme's current position.

 

 

Update 11/09/2010

"I have had some of the roughest conditions since leaving Nuuk, just approaching Point Hope heading toward Bering Strait. I have 25knts on the head with quite choppy seas as this area is quite shallow. Yesterday was a great day, sunny and warm so managed to do some washing and give the boat a bit of a clean."

Click here to view Graeme's current position.

Update 09/09/2010

"Sailing in a nice 15knt NE and easy reach in slight seas, approaching Point Hope then down to Bering Strait which incedentally is only 19m deep! This whole area is about 30m average. I am getting lots of congrats for completion of North West Passage, Peter from Cambridge Bay called and is talking to Canadian media about my voyage, confirming I am the first solo sailor to successfuly complete the passage.

cheers GK"

Click here to view Graeme's current position.

 

Update 09/09/2010

"I am now passed Barrow point, I moved in toward the coast to take a photo but it has fogged over so I couldn't see anything. I have been able to tune into local Alaskan radio stations which has helped the time pass and have learnt some local random facts. The Alaskan Monarch butterfly migrates to Mexico in the winter and then returns to Alaska to breed in the Summer and they live for around 8 months! I have also been able to get more useful information such as weather reports which are also coming in on VHF. I am now nearing Wainright in Alaska at 71 07 north, 158 04 west"

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Update 08/09/2010

"Currently sailing north of ice near Prudhoe Bay north Alaska at 71.38n 153w. Easterly winds have faded and now a good NW coming in which is perfect as i am now sailing SW on a course for Barrow Point. Barrow Point signals the end of the fabled North West Passage and I should round there later tonight. Will be drinking double doubles tonight!

A special thanks to Peter Semotiukof of Cambridge Bay, great talking to you & thanks for your help. I'm sure all boats appretiate your service! Congratulations to Mathieu Bonnier on a gallant row, you will have a great story to tell! And extra special thanks to edward Niclasen of Nuuk for trusting me with the boat.

It has taken 12 days; I was last in and the first out and have been told that I am the first solo sailing attempt of the full course and non stop. The plan is to continue non stop to auckland which will complete a 27,000 mile solo circumnavigation. Now sailing out of Arctic ocean and entering the Chukchi Sea then on to the Bering Strait. I now have 6,000 miles to go to Auckland and hope I can catch some fish!

cheers GK"

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Update 07/09/2010

"I have progressed 180 miles in the last 24 hrs and am still moving along nicely with a 25 knt Easterly. I have clear skies sailing along a very icey coast line, this whole area will be frozen over in the next 6 -8 weeks! I am now about 220 miles away from Barrow, the North Western tip of Alaska.

I have finally been able to send some images through of the trip so far (below)"

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Expedition Tico

"I had an encounter with another adventurer who is attempting to row through the North West Passage! Mathieu Bonnier and his Alaskan Husky 'Tico' have been on the same path as me. Just after Peels sound I was contacted by Mathieu who was further up the sound, I sailed toward him and he came aboard. He was pretty shattered as you can imagine. I cooked him a hot meal and he had a well desrved rest and was then on his way again. It was great to be able to discuss the area with some one in a similar situation and to have some comradeship in a very isolated North West Passage.

I have since been in contact with him and unfortunately it does not sound like he will be able to complete his voyage which must be dissapointing for him but he has done bloody well to row as far as he has!

Check out his website (it's in French) for more info www.expeditiontico.com

Update 06/09/2010

"Making good progress and currently in the Beaufort Sea 2 -3 days away from the Bering Sea. Very pleased to finally make it through the North West Passage, I have been informed that I have received a bit of coverage in Scandanavian news papers!

A very barren part of the world where I am at the moment, no birds or sea life, quite a lonely place, looking forward to rounding toward the Pacific. Have had good easterly winds and current position is 70 44 North, 137 West"

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Update 04/09/2010

"On course, had a very bumpy night with wind against current creating quite choppy conditions -20 knt ESE, one reef in the main and staysail. This morning is calm and light with 5knts and have just clicked over 2000 nautical miles since leaving Nuuk."

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Update 03/09/2010

"Just leaving Dolphin and Union Strait and have light rain and calm conditions. The boat is getting a good wash! Current position no 69.21Nrth 118West."

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Update 02/09/2010

"I have had a great run and am now about to enter the Dolphin and Union Strait.I have had light SE winds and is 16 degs C! It's like Marlborough Sounds on a summers day! Idyliic sailing!"

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Update 01/09/2010

"I am at the entrance to Dease strait and last night I tied up to a large piece of ice (rope and ice axe) and managed to get a good 5 hours sleep while the boat was secure. Now back on my way with hot sunny weather, sunblock on and ice free ahead! Yipee!"

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Update 31/08/2010

"I have encountered quite a bit of ice coming out of Icebreaker bay in Queen Maud Gulf. I tried going through but there was just no way so I have veered south and am now heading toward Dease Strait. Current position is 68.34 Nrth 103.21 West."

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Update 30/08/2010

"I have had a great run through Peel Sound sailing 163 miles in one day with a tail wind as well as a favourable current of around 1.5 knots. From Peel sound I have been able to take a short-cut through Victoria Strait which usually is too icey to make safe passage through and I am now entering the Queen Maud Gulf and will soon be heading West.

I have had a couple of authorities inform me that I am the first vessel to make it through Victoria Strait this year and possibly the first solo sailing attempt to make it through the North West Passage itself. My current position is 68.54 Nrth, 98.38 West and am very happy with progress"

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Update 28/08/2010

"I am now heading south into Peel Sound with sun at my back and with a tail wind, which is magic! I am looking for a shortcut through Victoria Strait - now two days away. Current position 73.33 North, 95.45 South"

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Update 27/08/2010

"Had thick fog last night and ice forming on the deck and rigging but a nice sunny day now. Current position is 74 06 North, 93 West; about one day away from Peel Sound. This will be the iciest part of the journey through the North West Passage and at this stage it is looking very clear which is great. From there it should be all clear making my way through the rest of the passage."

Click here to view Graeme's current position.


Update 25/08/2010

"I'm back onboard the Astral Express and have picked up where I left off almost 5 years ago now. The boat is in fantastic condition and has had a few improvements and alterations made by the new owner (Edward Niclasen), which has made onboard living very comfortable. Being able to complete this trip has only been possible due to the generosity of Edward and his family and his business, Nuuk Transport, which was a great help in preparing the boat before leaving Nuuk, Greenland. Edward has been instrumental in getting this voyage back on course not only with the vessel but also with planning and preparation, for all of which I am very grateful.

After a calm departure on the 19th of August I have headed north through Baffin bay, with steady winds and favourable currents, soon to arrive at the entrance to Lancaster sound. I have seen some amazing icebergs, they truly are an awesome sight but definitely something I am happy to keep a good distance from! I have had one close encounter in thick fog but have been in clear water since. The ice forecast is looking quite positive and Peels Sound should be navigable if conditions do not worsen - meaning the 1800 mile voyage through the North West Passage should take around two weeks.

It is an amazing feeling to be back onboard and sailing into the North West Passage, thanks to everyone for their support and if you would like to get in touch please feel free to call/text on +870773155690

Watch this space!

Cheers,
GK
"


Yacht:
Astral Express

Skipper: Graeme Kendall

Phone/Text: 0064 21 496664

Email: gk@astralexpress.com