April 21 and Louise’s home lost its warehouse look as the supplies were packaged and taken to the DHL airfrieght depot at London Heath Row for the flight to Honolulu.
Sponsors DHL had offered to fly out the suplies to Honolulu and the first half of April saw Expedition Manager Louise in England desperately collecting the needed materials ready to pack, and take them to DHL for the last possible flight time. With Easter in the middle it was a hectic period. Items collected into a mountain in her living room. The final items being two laptop computers to replace the main and backup systems damaged rounding Cape Horn.
By April 17, Barrabas was back in the Northern Hemisphere and 2000 miles from Hawaii. Adrian had decided to accept a supply drop, the decision aided by continuing difficulties in obtaining Russian permission to sail their Northern Sea Route whihc meant that he would also need charts for Canadian waters to provide the option of attempting the North West Passage past Alaska and Canada if the Russians refused permission. The Waikiki Yacht Club had offered to send out a motor yacht and 25 ft RIB to meet Barrabas off Hawaii to transfer charts, spares and supplies. Weather conditions were good and the forecasts encouraging.
Having rounded Cape Horn, Adrian faced a long haul North up the Pacific towards tbe Bering Straits and the Arctic. March became the fastest month but Adrian was wrestling with a very tough decision as he headed towards the Equator and the hoped for fair weather. During the double knock down at the Cape, Barrabas had suffered damage and so had Adrian. He had dislocated both wrists which meant that mast climbing in tough conditions was out of the question. He feared that the mast and rigging had suffered damage but could see nothing wrong from deck level. In addition to the suspected mast damage, equipment had been hurled about and water had entered the vessel, damaging clothes, bedding and some food. Adrian was trying to decide whether or not to accept a supply drop on his way North. He did need some spares to repair his heater and other items of damaged equipment but he could not yet see what damage had been done to the mast. If he accepted a supply drop, this would remove his unaided status in the record bid. If he called into a port, perhaps in Chile, he would lose the non-stop status. Tough decisions.
Nearly a St Valentine’s Day massacre, Adrian and Barrabas survived two knock downs but at 21.53 hrs GMT on February 20 they rounded the small island that is Cape Horn and Adrian became one of a handful of sailors who had successfully rounded the Hope the ‘wrong way’ against wind and current.
Adrian celebrated Christmas 2005 at sea: This will certianly be the most unusual Christmas I ever spend, not least because I cannot see another living soul. I passed close to a number of ships during the night but have now moved east of the shipping lanes. The gift from Louise and my two sons revealed a hot water bottle in anticipation of the Arctic ice!. Kemp Sails, one of the sponsors also provided an outstanding present – a Christmas pudding and a small bottle of Champagne, which is trailing off the back of the boat to cool down. More exquisitely, a packet of ten cigarettes and a copy of Maxim magazine! I am now considering whether to stop in at Rio!!
I want to wish all supporters and sponsors of the Alpha Global Expedition a Happy Christmas and a successful and fulfilling New Year. Adrian Flanagan aboard Barrabas