Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Climbers Abandon Mount Everest Expedition After Brawling With Sherpas


Three climbers involved in a high-altitude brawl on Mount Everest have abandoned their expedition after fending off a group of angry Sherpa guides.
Ueli Steck of Switzerland, Simone Moro of Italy and Jonathan Griffith of Great Britain met with the Sherpas and Nepalese authorities today to clear the air, according to an update on Moro’s Facebook page.
“I wanted that the meeting with everyone at base camp ended with my words that underlined the esteem I have for the Sherpa and Nepal, but I also stated that this violence killed our climbing dream and that we are leaving,” Moro said in an interview with Planet Mountain.
The drama unfolded Saturday at 24,500 feet, according to a statement posted on Moro’s website, after a Sherpa accused the three of knocking ice onto a fellow guide below and injuring him.
The lead Sherpa began “shouting and banging the ice with his ax  erratically,” Moro said.
The  trio and the Sherpas, who are known for providing support to foreign trekkers and mountain climbers, descended to Camp 2, at which point Moro said they were  outnumbered by 100 Sherpas who punched and kicked them and threw rocks.
“They were throwing stones,” Steck told the BBC. “One tried to use a pocket knife to hit Simone Moro. Luckily, he just hit his belt off his backpack.”
The situation calmed down after 50 minutes, at which point  Moro said the men were told “if they weren’t gone in one hour that they would all be killed.”
The the three  retreated to the base of the mountain, Moro said, “feeling that given the current situation this was the safest place to be.”
He suggested the lead Sherpa may have been dealing with bruised pride after the three climbers  passed him, prompting him to start the fight.
“Whatever the reason may be, there is no reason to instigate vigilante rule and to try and kill three visiting climbers,” he said.
gty mount everest brawl nt 130429 wblog Climbers Abandon Mount Everest Expedition After Brawling With Sherpas

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Professional Rowers are using poorly designed rowboats which CAPSIZE - SAFETY FIRST - NEW DESIGN ASAP




British adventurer Sarah Outen described herself as 'an ocean girl at heart'

A British adventurer has begun her second attempt to become the first person to row solo from Japan to Canada.


Sarah Outen's first venture, in May 2012, was cut short by ferocious Tropical Storm Mawar, which battered her boat Gulliver, causing it irreparable damage and making it capsize more than 20 times, so she had no choice but to call for a rescue.
COMMENT
(ROWBOAT)..." it capsize more than 20 times" 
HELLO ROWERS - PROPERLY DESIGNED BOATS SHOULD NOT REPEATEDLY CAPSIZE (UNLESS OPERATED IMPROPERLY). WHY WOULD ANYONE TRUSTING YOUR LIFE TO A ROWBOAT NOT INCLINED TO TEST AND IMPROVE THE DESIGN - INCLUDING AUTO-RIGHT RECOVERY - BEFORE USING IT IN THE OCEAN... SOMETHING IS WRONG - AN ACCEPTED (ROW) BOAT DESIGN REPEATED CAPSIZES 20 TIMES... STOP THE HECK USING THAT ROWBOAT DESIGN!  HIRE ANOTHER NAVAL ARCHITECT - IF YOU WERE SICK AND NOT GETTING WELL YOU WOULD SEE A NEW DOCTOR - GET ANOTHER OPINION - ROWBOATS NEED A DESIGN RE-THINK ASAP!!!  
Gulliver sadly had to be left at sea in June 2012 after Sarah and he were hit by Tropical Storm Mawar. He will be sorely missed!
SO SORRY GULLIVER1 IS RESTING ON THE OCEAN  BOTTOM - BUT YOU HAVE BEEN GIVEN A NEW CHANCE FOR A BETTER DESIGNED GULLIVER2 - TAKE IT AND GET ON WITH YOUR GOAL... 


Meeting Gulliver - video url: http://youtu.be/4asE_-jYpAA 


Enter HAPPY SOCKS (looks like the same old design which needs improvement...)



An exciting moment - collecting Happy Socks from Global Boatworks after her 'Pacific Upgrade'. She is my boat for the North Pacific row in 2013.
Changes have been made based on experiences during the 'final storm' of June 2013 which damaged my original boat, Gulliver.

Self-right test photo - sure would like to see the video
The boat is designed to self-right in the event of capsize. So long as hatches are closed and weight is stowed correctly, she will pop round very swiftly.
 
OVERLOADED? - NO WONDER ROWBOATS CAPSIZE - SHIFTING CARGO MAKES ROWBOAT UNSTABLE


The attempt is part of the 27-year-old's wider London2London: Via the World expedition, which will see her row, cycle and kayak a continuous loop of the planet.
Ms Outen, from Rutland, set out at 8am British time on Saturday from Choshi in Japan.
If successful, she will become the first woman to row solo across the North Pacific Ocean from west to east and the first person to row solo from Japan to Canada.
Just three boats have rowed west to east across the North Pacific - all from Japan to the USA. Many attempts have failed.
The 4,500 nautical mile journey will mean between 150 and 200 days alone at sea for Ms Outen in her seven metre ocean-going rowing boat, Happy Socks.
She said: "I am an ocean girl at heart. I love being so close to the water and living to the rhythms of the wild. The energy out there is magic and the dynamics are so exciting.
"There are no guarantees of success and it will take every ounce of physical and mental strength and a good dollop of luck to make it across safely. But I believe I have the best possible chance - physically and mentally I am strong and determined to give this my best shot."
Ms Outen is sharing her stories from the row and the wider expedition, which began in April 2011, through her website and social media to inspire young people to follow their dreams and believe that anything is possible. She is also hoping to raise more than £100,000 for her four chosen charities - CoppaFeel!, The Jubilee Sailing Trust, MNDA and WaterAid.

Meeting Nelson - Video url: http://youtu.be/ixif2XwecOA


Content banner

WHAT DO YOU SEE ALARMING IN THIS PHOTO?  DIMINISHED FREEBOARD - HELLO EXPEDITION ADVISORS - SARA NEEDS YOUR HELP - THIS KAYAK HAS LOST ITS SEAKEEPING ABILITY - OVER LOADED? - MANY BOATS SINK BECAUSE WATER ENTERS WITHOUT DETECTION UNTIL THERE IS A SECONDARY FAILURE WHICH PREVENTS A GOOD & TIMELY RESPONSE.

I STRONGLY RECOMMEND USING SOCIAL MEDIA (WEBSITES, BLOGS, TWITTER, FACEBOOK) AS PROJECT ADVISORS - POST EVERY PLANNED STEP ALONG THE WAY SO YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA FRIENDS CAN OFFER SUGGESTIONS OR ALERT YOU TO CRITICAL ELEMENTS REQUIRING REVISION.

DOES YOUR WEBSITE, BLOG ETC ALLOW FOLLOWERS TO EASILY POST A PUBLIC COMMENT OR EMAIL YOU DIRECTLY?


Ocean food - HAPPINESS IS... (video url: http://youtu.be/oVvdSbbO8oY)


Perhaps the only birthday I will ever have in Kazakhstan. A hot, hot day with some big miles - 212km into Atyrau, where I had beers with some friendly expats. It was only my second day in Kazakhstan so everything was a novelty - the camels, the steppe, the dried up lakes...


God Speed you, Sarah Outen!!!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

'GLORY OF THE SEA' planning to sail to North Latitudes to trace roots... Northwest Passage plans?

Descendants of Vikings to set sail for Hudson Bay and beyond

Descendants of Vikings in North America 1,000 years ago will set sail on Lake Winnipeg this year for a voyage to Hudson Bay.
Those descendants, Winnipeggers Johann Sigurdson and David Collette, are on a hunt for traces of Norse explorers in Hudson Bay 800 years ago.
Ancient Viking sagas suggest Norse traders in narwhal and walrus tusks and polar bears may have slipped through the Northwest Passage during a brief period of global warming at the height of Viking settlements in Greenland and North America.
If they did, they may have made it as far as Hudson Bay.
"We've named the expedition Fara Heim," Sigurdson told the Icelandic Ice News this winter in an article that's circulating on archeological news websites. "In Old Norse, 'ao fara heim' means 'to go home,' " he said.
Website: http://faraheim.com/ (in Old Norse, means “Going Home".)
The pair will use this summer to raise funds and outfit a 15-metre sailboat with sonar and radar gear to collect data without digging anything up. They're hoping Icelandic shipping company Eimskip will ship the boat to North America this spring. It's due to launch in Lake Winnipeg this June.
The rest of this season, the expedition will work to generate public interest and attract sponsors and paying passengers for the search in the bay.
Plans next summer call for the crew to sail up the western coast of Hudson Bay, stopping at Inuit centres and talking to elders who might support information in the Norse sagas about a voyage to Hudson Bay.
"We're not going to one place to go and dig. We're going to focus on likely places with a Norse presence. We could be extremely lucky and find an outline of some buildings, like the stuff at L'Anse aux Meadows," Sigurdson said.
The 1,000-year-old base camp in northwestern Newfoundland is the earliest documented Viking settlement in North America.
Then they'll sail through the Northwest Passage, past Ellesmere Island, Skraeling Island and Ungava Bay where archeologists, anthropologists and historians from Thomas Lee to Icelandic speakers Tryggvi Oleson and Viljalmur Stefansson have all placed a Viking presence.
Fara Heim's advisory board includes a who's who of modern global explorers, adding credibility to the expedition.
The board includes Capt. Norm Baker, the first mate and navigator for Thor Heyerdahl of the famed Kon Tiki expedition, and Charles Hedrich, an explorer and founder of Respectons la Terre, a European group dedicated to exploration with an environmental focus. Filmmaker Guy Madden is another adviser.
The Glory of the Sea was the third yacht in history to make a sole voyage around Antarctica at latitudes below 69 degrees in 2003.
The Boat

The Glory of the Sea will set sail on Lake Winnipeg this year for a voyage to Hudson Bay.

“Glory of the Sea”
Picture

“Glory of the Sea” was built for its present owner in 2001 and launched in early 2002. After initial test sailing in western France, northern Spain and southern England she started her 3 year circumnavigation in late autumn crossing the Atlantic and heading for the Antarctic Peninsula. In February 2003 she became the third yacht in history to have attained a latitude below 69 degrees and 30 minutes south without outside assistance. She reached 69 deg. 47 min. in the bay of Magarite before being forced to turn. She spent the Antarctic winter in South Georgia and arrived in the spring in Cape Town in time for Christmas. She went on to visit 18 subantarctic islands in addition to Tasmania and New Zealand. She called in at a few islands in the south Pacific before returning to Patagonia and Ushuaia. She arrived back in France during the summer 2005. After having sailed an estimated 54000 nautical miles. The two Atlantic crossings, half the Indian Ocean crossing and three quarters of the Pacific crossing were done single handed.

Picture

“Glory” is a 50 feet aluminium sailboat designed, manufactured, equipped and, since its launch in early 2002 also used as an expedition support vessel in extensive ice sailing and polar winter situations.  She is designed by naval architects Berret /Racoupeau and built by Alumarine. The interior design is by Patrick Roseo.
The hull is double skinned up to 30 centimetres above the water line. The space between layers, 10 centimetres, is filled with polyurethane foam forming a strong and insulating sandwich. It has four watertight bulkheads, twin lifting keels, twin lifting rudders and retractable propeller. The hull is water ballasted with three tanks either side inside the insulation. All transparent hull openings are double glazed or doubled with inside paneling. The engine is a MAN/NANNI four cylinder with keel cooling integrated in the hull. The rigging is cutter with pivoting wing mast and bowsprit for the gennaker and the asymmetric spinnaker.
The electrics is all 24 volt with three banks of batteries. One is for starting only and two for utilities. There is an emergency 12 volt system, mounted high in the boat, powering the radios and essential electronics. Charging is by twin engine mounted alternators when under power, solar panels, and propeller shaft driven alternator when under sail. Location and cabling is provided for wind generator.

Picture

The hull can be beached in two ways: Either on its bottom with all appendices retracted or standing on the keels and rudders. In the last case the height and angle of the hull can be adjusted by hydraulic cylinders attached between the keels and the deck.
For anchoring she is equipped with two large but lightweight anchors ready to go. Each anchor has a hundred meters of twelve millimeter chain in a chain box just behind the mast and next to the keel, thus keeping heavy gear away from the extremities of the hull.

Picture

The interior sleeps seven. The starboard cabin has twin fixed bunks and a fold down. The port cabin has a double bunk. There is a pilot bunk next to the inside steering position and one in the saloon. The saloon table can be lowered, providing a further double bed.
She is completely equipped for her purpose having just completed a 3 year 54000 nautical miles circumnavigation

Expedition Objectives

The primary objectives for the Fara Heim expedition are:
1. Increase the awareness of Norse interactions with North America over the past 1,000 years
2. Travel via sailboat and search using advanced research technology for evidence of Norse presence in predetermined locations
3. Support and energize increased research into the Norse exploration, settlements and trading in areas west of Greenland
4. Educate and inform citizens of the Nordic countries on the history of Nordic exploration
The secondary objectives for the Fara Heim expedition are:
1. Increase the awareness of the global community to the nations of the North and their sovereignty
2. Measure and record environmental data for use in evaluating climate change
The team will train the crew and prepare the sailboat on Lake Winnipeg, Manitoba in 2012. The expedition will depart from Churchill, Manitoba in the early summer of 2013. The expedition will travel from Canada to Reykjavik, Iceland over a 3-month period while searching at predetermined locations for evidence of Norse presence.

The Route


(COMMENT - NORTHWEST PASSAGE PLANS NOT YET DOCUMENTED)

FAQs

Why?
The extent of the Viking / Nordic presence in North America is controversial. Questions go unanswered as many of the sites in the Arctic thought to be Viking have not been visited or studied for decades. The sites are remote and difficult to access. Consequently, the original studies with their information and conclusions continue to be recycled. New perspectives are nil. The aim of our project is to re-vitalize interest in this period of our history. We will review and share our knowledge of the accomplishments of these explorers and settlers. We will encourage contemporary study of the Viking presence in America by sailing the northern sea. We will share world wide the experience of being on-site via real-time video and photos. We will document our findings.
How?
We are assembling an advisory team of respected professionals to assist us in locating known and suspected Viking sites around Hudson Bay and Hudson Strait. We will also identify other potential areas of investigation using satellite imagery, knowledge from Inuit elders, and extrapolated information by planning routes and segments particular to sailing vessels.
Why A Sailboat?
The Vikings were some of the most successful mariners of their time because of their ships: fast, light, shallow draft, and very seaworthy. Modern sailboats used in Arctic expeditions share many of these attributes and on that basis we will be able to access the same areas they did. By sailing these selected routes and segments, we will become “Viking”. We will visualize the land and sea from the perspective of the deck of a small sailing ship.
Why Not A Replica Of A Viking Ship?
This expedition is not an attempt to show that Vikings could have sailed here. It is a known fact that they had the technology (ships) and the skill to go almost anywhere they wished. Therefore, our sailing east does not require a replica of a Viking ship. Our focus is to visit the known and suspected sites while searching for new possibilities. To do this, we will follow the guidelines of the intrepid Viking explorers and select the most modern and well-equipped vessel available for our northern exploration. The areas we are visiting, northern Hudson Bay, Hudson Strait, and Baffin Island, have challenges enough for any modern sailor. Modern Vikings, on voyages of re-discovery, need all the safety equipment available. They can then concentrate on finding evidence of “those who were here before” and ensure a safe journey.
Who Will Be On The Expedition?
It takes vision and commitment to launch the sort of expedition we are organizing. It will take months of work to organize, finance, and carry out this investigation. The core team members are Johann Sigurdson and David Collette. Additional crew including those whose specialized skills are critical to the success of the journey and a few others who wish to join us in 1-2 week segments for “travel with a purpose”. The final crew complement and schedule will be developed as the project moves forward.
Who Is Advising The Expedition?
There is tremendous interest in this project. Experts in archaeology, anthropology, Arctic expedition planning, sea ice, documentary film, finance, and Viking Age history have offered assistance. We are grateful to them. From this group, we have formed an advisory committee with the directive of establishing guidelines to ensure the project’s success. We trust that the outcome will encourage more investigation concerning the extent of the Norse presence in North America.





KON-TIKI EXPEDITION to film? Read the book before seeing the film


Heyerdahl, who died in 2002, is said to have approved an early treatment for the movie, and Kon-Tiki is faithful to him, if not blind to his faults. *Photographer:* Courtesy of Nordisk Film


“Just occasionally you find yourself in an odd situation. You get into it by degrees and in the most natural way but when you are right in the midst of it you are suddenly astonished and ask yourself how in the world it all came about.” So begins Thor Heyerdahl’s The Kon-Tiki Expedition, his account of putting to sea on a balsa-log raft in 1947 to test his theory that ancient Peruvians were the first to populate Polynesia. And the blithe spirit of that opening line is a good mindset for approaching Kon-Tiki, a terrific new dramatization of the 4,300-mile voyage.
A hit in Heyerdahl’s native Norway, it was the country’s entry for best foreign film at the 2012 Academy Awards. Now it’s being released in the States by the Weinstein Company, a studio so adept at winning Oscars that one wonders if the film will be entered again. It’s that good.
Because the original expedition was an international sensation—the book has sold 50 million copies—the filmmakers aimed for a global audience by producing two versions, one in Norwegian and one in English. Kon­-Tiki’s lack of subtitles will be a boon for those bringing dates; six men hanging out on a raft is, after all, not the most promising plot.
Directors Joachim Roenning and Espen Sandberg move us briskly through critical backstories: a childhood accident that explains (spoiler alert) why Heyerdahl never learned to swim, and the year he spends with his bride, Liv, on an island in the Marquesas in 1936. It’s there that he hatches his Polynesian hypothesis. Soon we’re off to late-1940s New York City, where Heyerdahl shops a book version of his big idea but can’t get publishers to take him seriously—until, that is, he proposes crossing the Pacific on a raft, at which point they think he’s insane. Kon-Tiki is beautiful to look at, beginning with Heyerdahl, played by Pal Sverre Hagen—think of a Viking Ryan Gosling. There’s a feeling-infinitesimal-under-the-stars set piece to give all but the most jaded viewers gooseflesh and a whale shark scene so vivid, one half expects to hear from Richard Attenborough.


“Just occasionally you find yourself in an odd situation. You get into it by degrees and in the most natural way but when you are right in the midst of it you are suddenly astonished and ask yourself how in the world it all came about.” *Photographer:* Courtesy of Nordisk Film
Heyerdahl, who died in 2002, is said to have approved an early treatment for the movie, and Kon-Tiki is faithful to him, if not blind to his faults. It’s less kind to Herman Watzinger, his trusted second-in-command. This has caused some controversy in Oslo. The movie Watzinger (Anders Baasmo Christiansen) is Heyerdahl’s chief underminer. Imagine a big-budget Apollo 11 in which Buzz Aldrin turns on Neil Armstrong. But the directors have admitted to taking dramatic liberties. Most viewers will be glad they did—the confrontation between the two men forms the movie’s psychological climax.
Kon-Tiki verges on corny at times, and there are a couple of occasions when the camera lingers too long on Hagen as he experiences some intense emotion. There’s also the niggling fact that Heyerdahl was simply wrong about the anthropology. Fifth-century mariners probably didn’t cross the Pacific, but Heyerdahl proved that they could have, and more to the point, he rescued his unread manuscript from Manhattan publishers’ slush piles in heroic fashion. Like the expedition itself, Kon-Tiki is a farce. But what a gorgeous farce!


Kon-Tiki verges on corny at times, and there are a couple of occasions when the camera lingers too long on Hagen as he experiences some intense emotion. *Photographer:* Courtesy of Nordisk Film

http://www.amazon.com/Kon-Tiki-Across-Pacific-Thor-Heyerdahl/dp/0671726528

Kon-Tiki is the record of Thor Heyerdahl’s astonishing three-month voyage across the Pacific.
Kon-Tiki is the record of an astonishing adventure—a journey of 4,300 nautical miles across the Pacific Ocean by raft. Intrigued by Polynesian folklore, biologist Thor Heyerdahl suspected that the South Sea Islands had been settled by an ancient race from thousands of miles to the east, led by a mythical hero, Kon-Tiki. He decided to prove his theory by duplicating the legendary voyage.
On April 28, 1947, Heyerdahl and five other adventurers sailed from Peru on a balsa log raft. After three months on the open sea, encountering raging storms, whales, and sharks, they sighted land—the Polynesian island of Puka Puka.
Translated into sixty-five languages, Kon-Tiki is a classic, inspiring tale of daring and courage—a magnificent saga of men against the sea.
This edition includes a foreword by the author and a unique visual essay of the voyage.


Friday, April 26, 2013

Estate of Swiss man who died while climbing down Alaska’s Mount McKinley sues guide company


The estate of a Swiss man who died during a 2011 descent of Mount McKinley has filed a lawsuit claiming negligence by a guide company resulted in his death.
Attorneys for the defendant, Colorado-based Mountain Trip International, said in federal court papers filed Wednesday that climber Beat Niederer was aware of the substantial risk involved in climbing the highest peak in North America and knowingly assumed that risk.



The company is seeking dismissal of the case.
Niederer, 38, died after reaching the summit of the mountain in May 2011. The lawsuit said he had prior climbing experience but never at altitudes significantly above 14,000 feet and never in an Arctic environment. The summit of Mount McKinley stands at 20,320 feet.
Niederer applied for the trip in February 2011, according to the lawsuit. It began just over two months later.
The lawsuit, filed in February on behalf of Niederer’s widow and children, alleges the four-member summit team led by guide David Staeheli was not properly outfitted and lacked the means to stay together and protect itself from the hazardous conditions and wind.
The men were roped together, and on the way down, one of the climbers fell, pulling the others off their feet. The lawsuit says they tumbled several hundred feet, with no snow pickets in place that could have been used to arrest the fall.
According to the lawsuit, at least three of the men — Niederer, Staeheli and climber Jeremiah O’Sullivan, who had broken a leg — were hurt. Staeheli tried to call for help on a satellite phone, but it was damaged. He left his heavy coat with O’Sullivan as he went to catch up with Niederer and climber Lawrence Cutler.
Staeheli waited for Cutler at an area known as Zebra Rocks but did not wait for Niederer before continuing on, the lawsuit alleges. It says Cutler became separated from Staeheli, and Niederer was not told how to descend that area. Mountain Trip acknowledges that Staeheli descended but denies the other claims.
Staeheli and Cutler made it to camp at 17,200 feet, separately, on the morning of May 12, 2011, but Niederer was found dead higher up. O’Sullivan was rescued the night of May 12.
The National Park Service, in an investigation report last year, said a fall during descent, with a team roped together and using no fixed protection like a snow picket or ice screw when climbers are tired, is the most common cause of an accident on the mountain.
It found the team was unprepared “by not carrying any snow tools with which to dig or construct an emergency shelter and a sleeping bag to deal with an emergency high on the mountain.”
“This investigation team believes that had adequate survival gear, as stated in this report, been carried the outcome of this accident could have been much less severe,” the report states.
The report listed the direct cause of Niederer’s death as “hypothermia due to environmental exposure,” compounded by blunt force injury to the head and trunk, including rib fractures from the fall.
It said Staeheli giving his heavy coat to O’Sullivan was a humane gesture but put Staeheli “on a fine line of not being able to keep warm in the increasing wind and cold. He was now in a survival situation and could not walk down slowly with Cutler and Niederer.”
Staeheli, who is not named as a defendant in the case, declined to comment on the case Thursday.
Mountain Trip denies that protection such as snow pickets in the area would have necessarily stopped the fall. It acknowledges the team left camp without foam pads, shovels or snow saws but says that equipment wouldn’t have made a difference in the fall.
After the fall, a saw or shovel wouldn’t have worked to build a shelter because the snow was too hard to penetrate, and Staeheli’s hands were severely frostbitten from taking off his mittens while using an ice ax to try to arrest the fall, the company said in its response.


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Solar Boat "RA" challenges the GREAT LOOP as it leaves boating history in its wake



THE SOLAR BOAT CHRONICLES JOURNEY
Skipper Jim Greer and his crew will travel over 6,000 miles in a solar-powered boat around America’s Great Loop waterway in search of the intriguing, the beautiful, and the bizarre. They’ll explore the unique ecology and the living history on the waterway’s banks and meet the colorful characters that populate its towns and boat-ways.  They’ll be making their way in a custom-made, solar-powered eco-green boat—The Ra—attempting to see if it is truly possible to make such a monumental journey entirely under solar power.  The water route, winding its way through the eastern United States, will be captured in beautiful HD video, giving the audience a view of the river it could never see from a car or the shore.
The Ra is a custom-built 48’ trimaran able to move lightly across the water’s surface. Itl sleeps six, and its solar panels and batteries are sufficient for a half-day cruise before recharging.  The Ra, if it is successful, will be the first solar-powered boat to traverse The Great Loop. The cost to take this 6,000-mile trip in fuel alone would ordinarily be over $10,000 in a power boat.  But by using the power of the sun, the Ra is expected to have no fuel costs for its journey!
Rail-mounted cameras, and even one mounted in a mini-helicopter, will capture life as it occurs both on the river and on the boat.  The crew’s interaction with each other and with the people on the river will be captured continuously. From this vast amount of footage, the crew will edit together the scenes most likely to be of interest to viewers. Each show will encompass around 10 days of shooting, capturing:
  • close-up looks at the birds and animals that make the rivers their home
  • rare views of cities and major historical sites from the river
  • often spectacular natural scenery
  • engaging, site-specific historical accounts provided by guest historians
  • the often amusing interactions between the crew and the people on the river



Skipper Jim Greer

Ra's captain
Our fearless captain
Jim began his boating life at the age of 14 when—inspired by Tom Saywer’s adventures—he built a wooden boat and drifted down the Arkansas River from his Wichita, Kansas home to the lower reaches of Arkansas.  He was ultimately apprehended by a Arkansas sheriff who deemed him a runaway and returned him home.
As an adult, he went on to pilot boats in Africa and Southeast Asia before going on to spend eight years designing and building specialty boats for the oil industry.
On occasion, he would also take jobs filming oil company facilities in various countries.  It was during one of these jobs that he discovered his love of filming animals, which often clustered in the jungles surrounding the oil facilities.  This inspired him to also begin a career as a wildlife film maker.
However, all the while he longed to return to boating, and when the idea hit him to take a solar boat around the Great Loop, he knew this had to be his next boating adventure.
No plugging-in allowed on this adventure!


8 hours on a sunny day
Propulsion is provided by two 48-volt Torqeedo electric outboard motors, which are linked in tandem. The energy for the motors is captured by 14 large solar panels that are 450 watts each, linked in pairs. The solar panels send the sun’s energy to a large battery bank, which supplies the motors. 
Greer said the engines give up to eight hours use when the sun is shining. The batteries provide about three and a half hours use on a full charge, he said.
Twenty miles per day is about all they shoot for.
“When things are going well, and we’re traveling with the current, we can do about 7 or 8 miles per hour,” Greer said. “But on a cloudy day, we can still power along, at a much slower speed, more like 2 1/2 miles per hour.”



Video url: http://youtu.be/8brO7UYnF1Q




AROUND THE WORLD ON SOLAR POWER ALONE - http://expedition2010org.blogspot.com/2011/10/around-world-on-solar-power-alone.html

DRAGONFLY already been around the GREAT LOOP on Solar - http://www.slowboatcruise.com/p/about-our-boat.html

Photo

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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Thinking of an outback Adventure... sleep in comfort - SELK'BAG


The Selk’bag wearable sleeping bag is like a Snuggie for adventurers. This insulated outfit might just be the most comfortable thing to climb into after a long day on the mountain. Here is a bit more on the Selk’bag from their website
Now in its 4th Generation, the Selk’bag Classic has evolved into the best fitting, more technically advanced Selk’bag made to date. New features (see below) allow the wearer to have a more tailored experience with their Selk’bag for easier and more confident movement. Rated to 35 degrees Fahrenheit, the uncommonly comfortable Selk’bag Classic is an excellent solution for those who are uncomfortable in traditional mummy or rectangular sleeping bags. Perfect for a variety of adventures, the Selk’bag is used by outdoor enthusiasts the world over for camping in a tent, under the stars, at the lake, at the beach or even in the cabin. Use the Selk’bag Classic indoors during the Winter for immaculate comfort, or even in your RV, camper, SUV, or dorm room. See a full list of features, technical specifications and a list of retailers below.

Price: $99.95

Buy Now:  Selk’Bag

Selk bag  Classic Forest Green
fcr4204 620x411
This could be you!

'Mountaineer Mom' in pursuit of scaling 7th Summit in May

In her pursuit to take up the last challenge to complete scaling the '7 Summits', Premlata Agarwal would go for the Mt Mckinley (6196m, USA) expedition in North America next month at the age of 47. 

If Premlata is able to conquer the '7 Summits', the highest peaks of each of the seven continents, she would be the first Indian woman and the oldest woman in the world to achieve the feat, Tata Steel Adventure Foundation chief Bachendri Pal told PTI. 

The home maker from Jharkhand has already conquered six other members of the '7 Summits' -- Mt. Everest (8848m, Nepal, Asia), Mt Elbrus (5642m, Russia, Europe), Mt Kilimanjaro (5895m, Tanzania, Africa), Mt Vinson (4897m, Antarctica), Mt Aconcagua (6962m, Argentina, South America) and Mt Carstensz Pyramid (4884m, Australia). 

Premlata, a mother of two grown up daughters including a married one, is the oldest Indian woman to have climbed the Mt Everest on May 20, 2011, at the age of 45. 

Premlata's mentor Bachendri Pal, the first Indian woman to climb the Mt Everest, was confident that she would be successful in scaling the Mt Mckinley this time after missing it by a whisker in April-May last year due to bad weather. 

She had been just 700 feet away from the summit when the weather suddenly turned extremely rough, the temperature plummeted to minus 40 degrees Celsius accompanied by strong wind and she was forced to abandon the expedition. 

Premlata has been undergoing rigorous training in Darjeeling for the past one month to enhance her endurance, physical and mental fitness to withstand the extreme weather condition there, Pal said. 

After receiving the Padma Shri award from the President on April 20 in New Delhi, Premlata would leave for the Mt Mckinley expedition on April 29, said her husband Vimal Agarwal, the editor of an English daily here. 

After taking up adventure sports in 2000 at the age of 35, Premlata participated in several expeditions led by Bachendri Pal organised by the Tata Steel Adventure Foundation.


http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/mountaineer-mom-in-pursuit-of-scaling-7th-summit-in-may-113041600247_1.html

Monday, April 15, 2013

KATHARSIS2 enjoys a fantastic voyage to 300 meters in a personal submarine off Costa Rica - HOW COOL IS THIS?

BLOG: http://katharsis2.com/2013/04/15/300-metrow-pod-woda/#

Mariusz and Hanna stand ready to board submersible DEEPSEA from dive boat tender ARGO.

ARGO and DEEPSEA Website: http://www.underseahunter.com/index.html
((Checkout the 360 degree virtual tour))















Sunday, April 14, 2013

Extreme Trekkers - Anchorage couple covers 4,000 miles from Bellingham Washington to Kotzabue Alaska

Anchorage Daily News - Sunday April 14, 2013
FROM BELLINGHAM TO KOTZEBUE THE HARD WAY
Caroline Van Hemert and Pat Farrell will present a slide show and talk about their human-powered trip from Bellingham, Wash., to Kotzebue at 7 p.m. on Tuesday at the Snow Goose Theater, 717 W. Third Ave. The event is hosted by The Wilderness Society and Friends of Alaska National Wildlife Refuges.
Extreme trekkers
Anchorage couple covers 4,000 miles

By MIKE DUNHAM
   mdunham@adn.com 
   At this time last year Caroline Van Hemert and Pat Farrell were rowing homemade boats up Alaska’s Inside Passage, en route from Bellingham, Wash., to their cabin near Haines.
   On one hand, it was a nature lover’s dream, said Van Hemert. “Migration was in full force. The herring spawn was going crazy. There were tons of birds and sea lions and no people.”
   On the other hand, the Anchorage adventurers were encountering spring storms.
   “We got hit with big water right off the bat,” Van Hemert said. “In some cases we were pinned down by storms for five or six days. It was pretty humbling knowing that we were at the mercy of the conditions.”
   Even more humbling was the fact that, once they reached their cabin, they would just be a short way into a 4,000-mile expedition.
   Their staggering itinerary called for them to go from Bellingham to Kotzebue via the Arctic Ocean, the Brooks Range and the Yukon, MacKenzie and Noatak rivers. All under their own power paddling, climbing, hiking, floating in six months.
   It appears to be a trek unprecedented in legend, history or the annals of modern extreme sports.
   They’ll talk about it at a slide/lecture on Tuesday at the Snow Goose Theater.
   Here’s the short version.
   NO TRAILS
   Van Hemert and Farrell met at Western Washington University, where she was a writing student and he was studying art. They discovered that they shared a taste for excursions not generally included in hiking books.
   “Our first trip was 10 years ago,” said Van Hemert. “We hiked into a pretty remote area in the Yukon territory, planning to float out except we didn’t have a boat.”
   The plan was to build a birch bark canoe to return to civilization, Farrell said, and to make as much as they could from available materials.
   “We brought in just the steel portions of the tools,” he said. They made the handles from local wood. It took a lot longer than calculated and making your own canoe is a gamble, he said: “It worked, but barely.”
   “It’s not the most lightweight, efficient craft,” Van Hemert observed.
   Since then the two, now married, have lived on a sailboat in Washington, built their cabin 
near Haines, moved back to Van Hemert’s hometown, Anchorage (she graduated from West High in 1996), and accumulated a catalog of strenuous exploits. They climbed Mount Fairweather, for example, in 2011.
   The opportunity to spend half a year on the Bellingham-Kotzebue trip arose when Van Hemert, a research biologist at the Alaska Science Center, completed her Ph.D. in biology.
   “I wanted to take a break,” she said. “We were interested in linking up some places we knew pretty well, but also going to a lot of other places we’d never explored. And doing it without the use of trails.”
   “It seemed like a time to try something on a really big scale,” said Farrell.
   And so they began to pencil out the details for their epic journey.
   CLOUDS OF MOSQUITOES
   As 2012 dawned, Farrell, who designs and builds residential homes and other construction projects, put his sculptural skills to work building the two 18-foot rowboats they would use to get from the Lower 48 to Haines.
   “I had trouble finding expedition rowboats, so I found these plans and built them myself,” he said.
   They left Bellingham in a hailstorm on St. Patrick’s Day. After a blustery seven weeks, they arrived at their cabin on Lynn Canal. There they left the rowboats, picked up pack rafts, skis and climbing gear, and headed due east into the Coast Range, pushing through the rainforest into mountain glaciers, crossing into Canada.
   They inflated the pack rafts and began floating down the Yukon. North of Dawson, they left the river and alternately hiked or floated over 
taiga, tundra and snow-packed passes, revisiting the area of their original birch bark canoe adventure and finally connecting with the Mac-Kenzie River.
   The river slowed and divided into myriad channels as it approached the Arctic Ocean.
   “Pack rafts aren’t the right boat for that kind of travel,” said Farrell. Counter currents and winds off the ocean sometimes pushed them in the wrong direction. And clouds of mosquitoes to rival anything in the north fell on them.
   “We’ve done a lot of trips up here but the MacKenzie Delta at that time of year was more than I could imagine,” said Farrell. “It sapped our morale. We started to lose our drive a little bit. But we really wanted to check out the Arctic coast.”
   The walk along the north edge of Canada and Alaska was particularly rewarding, they said. There was fairly good footing along the beaches of the continent and the barrier is- 
lands. The pack rafts proved effective at water crossings. There was a lot of wildlife and beached whale carcasses along the route.
   But it too had unexpected challenges, including, Farrell said, finding fresh water.
   Arriving in Kaktovik, they turned inland again, crossing the tundra of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and going over the Brooks Range. They floated down the Chandalar River to Arctic Village, where they mailed their pack rafts to Anaktuvuk Pass to lighten the load for the next leg of the journey. Once 
they got to Anaktuvuk, they planned to go back to switching from hiking to floating.
   The little backpackable craft generally worked well.
   “They’re definitely durable,” said Van Hemert. “They didn’t pop once.”
   A COLD SWIM
   But with the pack rafts on the mail plane, the pair had to swim the chilly Chandalar to continue along the Continental Divide.
   “We took a high route for a good portion of it,” said Farrell. “It was awesome. You’d come to pass after pass and be able to look out for miles.”
   But they didn’t have much time to pause for scenery.
   “We knew if we didn’t make it before freeze-up, we’d have to change our plans,” Farrell said. “The whole key to this trip was to try to move efficiently over ground, staying pretty darned light on our feet.”
   In the Brooks Range, however, they encountered more tough weather. At one point they were turned around by knee-deep snow high in the mountains. For another spell, “It just rained for days,” Farrell said. “We knew we had to get over some passes if we were going to get out using our first options. The other options weren’t that good, either.”
   They carried a satellite telephone and, for most of the trip, had their rations shipped to the towns along the way. 
Friends had left a cache of food where they crossed the Dalton Highway. Even with full packs, Van Hemert said, “We were hungry all the time.”
   Now they were hitting the bottom of their reserves.
   Down to the last few granola bars, they had supplies flown in to their campsite on the banks of the Noatak River. It was the only air resupply they had on the whole trip. In addition to grub, the plane brought them a folding canoe that would take them to the Chukchi Sea.
   On Sept. 9, they paddled across Kotzebue Sound to complete the odyssey.
   “We just narrowly slipped by as winter was chasing us out of there,” said Farrell.
   They’d encountered abundant wildlife on the way, from aggressive bears to the massive Western Arctic caribou herd in its fall migration. But the final encounter was the oddest, Van Hemert said.
   “We saw two moose in the Arctic Ocean,” she said. “They followed us, up to their knees in saltwater. Then they swam after us for a mile or more. They weren’t aggressive, but it was certainly strange.”
   What does it feel like to make a 4,000-mile trek?
   “Part of me felt totally relieved that we managed to pull it off,” said Van Hemert. “But there was a certain amount of
sadness or nostalgia for what had become a lifestyle.” And how do you celebrate? “We came back to An chorage and some friends came over for pizza and beer,” said Farrell. “You’d think these things would be more dramatic.”
   Reach Mike Dunham at mdunham@adn.com   or 257-4332.
Photos by PATRICK FARRELL / carolineandpat.wordpress.com 
   Members of the Western Arctic caribou herd on their fall migration cross the Noatak River in Noatak National Preserve in September 2012. Caroline Van Hemert and Pat Farrell watched thousands of caribou ford the river.
Van Hemert hikes in the Arrigetch Valley in Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve, Western Brooks Range, in August 2012. She had only a 12-hour break in the weather, which otherwise consisted of 28 straight days of rain or snow.
Farrell packrafts in the John River, south of Anaktuvuk Pass in Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve.
PATRICK FARRELL / carolineandpat.wordpress.com 
   Van Hemert skis over a pass in the Coast Range of Southeast Alaska in May 2012. They were traversing the mountains from the Pacific Ocean to the Yukon River.
JOURNEY
   Caroline Van Hemert and Pat Farrell will present a slide show and talk about their human-powered trip from Bellingham, Wash., to Kotzebue at 7 p.m. on Tuesday at the Snow Goose Theater, 717 W. Third Ave. The event is hosted by The Wilderness Society and Friends of Alaska National Wildlife Refuges.