Kendall Rounds Cape York
Christchurch yachtsman Graeme Kendall will round Cape York, Queensland, in the next 24 hours in his attempt to achieve
one of the last major world sailing records - sailing solo non stop around the world via the Arctic Northwest Passage.
Kendall left Auckland on 26 April and is making good progress. Currently he is off the coast of Queensland and is
approaching Cape York after successfully managing the Tasman and Coral seas.
Apart from being invaded by small sparrow-like migrating birds (who were fun until leaving a messy calling card), Graeme
reports that all is well onboard, although he has only caught one fish so far, a small Yellow-finned Tuna, which ended
up as sashimi.
The voyage is being funded entirely by Christchurch, N.Z., based Kendall, who has secured 0900 CHILD, which has been
sign-written along the side of the boat to raise money for charity. Primarily he will be raising money for Variety – The
Children’s Charity, 20% of money raised will also be split between Cholmondeley Home, Christchurch and The Christchurch
Bone Marrow Trust.
Graeme Kendall says he aims to raise $25 for each Kilometer sailed through the 0900 number.
This will be an extraordinary solo round the world yacht trip. Not only will Graeme achieve a notable yachting first, he
will also, potentially, raise a great deal of money for some very worthy charities. Ends
Follow Graham’s progress and check out his dairy at: www.astralexpress.com
Position as at 11.00hrs NZ, 13 May 2005
Background Information Graeme will pass north of Australia and then head around the Cape of Good Hope, South Africa,
then north across the Atlantic to the northern coast of Canada and Alaska through the Northwest Passage. He then travels
south across the Pacific Ocean, returning to Auckland. It is estimated the trip will take 150 to 180 days and cover
28,000 (40,000km) nautical miles, unaided with no stopovers, but relying on the latest technology available.
The Northwest Passage has only recently become a navigable reality with the aid of satellite technology, which has given
sailors the ability to monitor ice flows, and therefore a safe passage, during the months of August and September. With
recent navigation of the Northwest Passage by private yachts and given similar warm Arctic conditions this milestone
should be achievable.
The Astral Express Designed by world renowned marine architect Greg Elliot, the Astral Express is a fast 12.5 metre
cruising yacht with a deck saloon-pilot house with inside steering necessary for Arctic conditions.
Built of Kevlar to a specification stronger than alloy, with a reinforced bow, and steel retractable keel to attain a
minimum four foot draft. This is a high performance yacht developed for long distance passage making, with a small
easily managed sail plan.
Built from existing moulds in Melbourne and finished in Auckland, the Astral Express has built in buoyancy to render it
unsinkable. Its sister ship was recently tested, on delivery from Sydney to Brisbane in moderate to severe conditions.
The yacht will carry an inflatable dinghy and outboard, large windlass with extensive ground tackle and equipment for
arctic conditions. The Astral Express has been constructed with each facet overseen by New Zealand’s best boat builders
and associated tradesmen.
Curriculam Vitae – Graeme Kendal Sailing record - As Captain Lyttleton to Fiji return Lyttleton to Hawaii via Cooks,
Society and Marquesas Islands Hawaii to Lyttleton via Fiji two handed Picton to Lyttleton and races, solo Picton to
Sydney Lyttleton to Melbourne Around Tahiti race Melbourne - Osaka two handed race Lyttleton Chatham Island return
Circumnavigation of South Island Extensive sailing about cook strait and French Polynesia Dozens of coastal trips to
Marlborough Sounds and Auckland Sailing record - as crew Kenwood cup yacht race series Hawaii Whitbread Round the World
Yacht race Bluff to Lyttleton with Sir Peter Blake Many delivery trips On yachts of his own, has cruised and raced over
100,000 miles during the past 35 years to become a competent seaman, navigator and cook. With the necessary experience
and temperament to make a successful attempt on this record.
Being a fit sailor, has in the past nine months, helped deliver yachts from Tonga to New Zealand, Sydney to Brisbane and
Auckland to Picton.
The Northwest Passage The Northwest Passage is a famous sea route linking the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. It was
expected to provide an alternative and shorter passage from Europe to Asia, but as the sea is frozen over for most of
the year, this route is not very practical.
Northwest Passage - Background 1. ROALD AMUNDSEN: First Navigation by Ship
1905: In mid August, Roald Amundsen sailed from Gjøahaven (today: Gjoa Haven, Nunavut) in the vessel Gjøa. On August 26
they encountered a ship bearing down on them from the west, and with that they were through the passage. From Amundsen's
The North West Passage was done. My boyhood dream - at that moment it was accomplished. A strange feeling welled up in
my throat; I was somewhat over-strained and worn - it was weakness in me - but I felt tears in my eyes. 'Vessel in
sight' ... Vessel in sight. 2. ST. ROCH: First West-East Crossing
1940-1942: The St. Roch was given the task of demonstrating Canadian sovereignty in the Arctic. It was ordered to sail
from Vancouver to Halifax by way of the Northwest Passage.
The St. Roch left Vancouver in June 1940 and on October 11, 1942, it docked at Halifax - the first ship to travel from
the Pacific to the Atlantic via the Northwest Passage. The journey had taken almost 28 months. 3. ST. ROCH: Northern
Deep-Water Route (East-West)
1944: The St. Roch was the first ship to travel the Northwest Passage through the northern, deep-water route and the
first to sail the Passage in both directions. 4. FRANKLIN EXPEDITION: Attempt
1845-48: Although Sir John Franklin was on the right track, his ships, the "Terror" and the "Erebus", became frozen in
the ice near King William Island. The ships disappeared and all 129 men were lost. MORE... 5. SIR WILLIAM EDWARD PARRY:
1819-20: Parry led a number of expeditions in search of the Northwest Passage, and he was almost successful. One of his
expeditions qualified for the £5,000 prize offered by the Board of Longitude to the first vessel to cross the 110th
meridian in high northern latitudes. 6. ROBERT McCLURE: Proved Route Existed
1850-54: While his ship was trapped in the ice, McClure set off by sledge and discovered a passage between Banks Island
and Victoria Island. Coming west to east, this linked up with Parry's previous postion coming east to west. McClure and
his crew were awarded the £10,000 prize for finding the Passage. Typical Northwest Passage Route (Black) Roald Amunsden:
First navigation by ship (White) St Roch: First West-East crossing (Green) St Roch: Northern deep water route Franklin
Expedition: Attempt (Dark Red) Sir William Edward Parry: Attempt (Purple) Robert McClure: Proved route existed (Orange)