AGX Update


Adrian is sailing north from Vardo in Norway, after leaving Murmansk at the weekend.

The course has been simplified.

Adrian sailed from Provideniya up to the icefield at Proliv Vil’kitskogo, shown as green dots. It was a reasonably straight course along the narrow strip of clear water between the Russian coast and the Arctic icefield, except for the section at the East Siberian Islands. There Adrian had to carefully scout for a route between the islands because the NSR was still ice covered and impassable. The course shown has been simplified in this area.

He then sailed back east from PVK towards Tiksi, looking for a mysterious island that was marked on the charts, with a note to say it might not be located there, and he found it was not there. He then sailed west again to the island Ostrov Peschanyy as his first holding position, awaiting news of ice melt at PVK. From there he sailed further west to Ostrov Preobrazheniya as his second holding position closer to PVK. From there he sailed to RV with a small convoy that hoped to pass through PVK behind an icebreaker, but conditions were considered unsuitable by the icebreaker’s captain. Adrian then sailed a figure 8 course along the ice while his shore team, AARI and Marine Operations Murmansk considered the possibility of taking a dangerous inshore channel through PVK. That complex set of courses has been ommitted from the map above because of the map scale.

Marine Operations HQ advised him to sail for Tiksi and take a ship lift through PVK. That course to Tiksi (yellow dot) is shown as orange dots.

From Tiksi, Adrian and Barrabas sailed aboard the Kapitan Danilkin along the course shown as blue dots. Conditions did not permit the relaunching of Barrabas at sea and she was relaunched in Murmansk harbour, shown as a magenta dot.

The distances have yet to be calculated, but the distance sailed from Provideniya to PVK and back to Tiksi is close to the distance from Provideniya to Murmansk.

With winter closing in, Adrian still has to round North Cape and then head south for home. He may have to make a number of stops to shelter from the weather on the way home and will not make the final decision on which side of the North Sea to sail until he reaches southern Norway and can study the weather forecasts at that point.

NSSR in Vardo

The Norwegian Society for Sea Rescue (NSSR) was founded on july 9th, 1891, with a clearly defined goal – To save lives at sea.

The first rescue boats, the Colin Archer-class, were introduced in 1893. They were powered by sails and oars only. Ever since, the NSSR’s boats and crew have saved over 6200 people from certain death. More than 500.000 people have received assistance.

The NSSR is a humanitarian organization aiming at saving lives and recovering property at sea. Maintaining rescue services along the Norwegian coast, and neighbouring sea areas where such services may be necessary. The NSSR also runs an information service and educational program designed to improve safety for boaters.


Photograph by Johan J. Petersen, owner of No 10 “Christiania” a veteran rescue boat in Vardo


Photograph by Johan J. Petersen, the harbour at Vardo


“Oscar Tybring IV”, the NSSR lifeboat in Vardø (Photo: NSSR)

Images emailed by Ingar Bie, NSSR

International Maritime Prize received by Mr. Igor Ponomarev’s widow


The late Igor Ponomarev

The prestigious International Maritime Prize for 2006 has been awarded posthumously to Mr. Igor Ponomarev (Russian Federation), who was the serving chairman of IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) at the time of his sudden death in October 2006, age 41, and who had already given distinguished service to the shipping industry in a variety of senior positions both within and outside IMO.

Igor was one of those helping Alpha Global Expedition to navigate the Russian bureaucracy just before his untimely death.

Steady as She Goes

AGXBarrabas being lowered in Murmansk. I am in the light blue jacket

Barrabas being relaunched in Murmansk – Adrian is in the light blue jacket

There have been many requests for photographs of Barrabas being loaded and unloaded for the ship lift from Tiksi to Murmansk by the Kapitain Danilkin. This shows why there has been a lack of photographs. Adrian has been closely involved in the process of loading and unloading so some video has been shot by a member of the Danilkin’s crew and there are some stills images yet to be loaded onto the laptop aboard Barrabas and transmitted back. Lifting the sloop complete with stepped mast, rigging and all supplies and equipment is a tricky task even from a crane onshore. Both the loading and unloading was carried out using the cranes onboard the Danilkin, requiring a very steady hand for the crane operator and deft handling of lines by Adrian and the crew at the ship’s side. Full marks for the seamanship and professionalism of Captain Zagorsky and his crew!


AGX Position Update



71 21N

61 09E

We now have a map with several plots on it. The Green dots indicate the route taken by Adrian in Barrabas to the edge of Proliv Vil’kitskogo. The yellow dots indicate his course back to the Port of Tiksi. The mauve dots indicate the course taken from the Port of Tiksi by the Kapitain Danilkin with Adrian and Barrabas aboard. The black dot marks the reported position for Kapitain Danilkin in the Kara Sea today. One sea left before leaving the Russian Northern Sea Route. Adrian has to enter Murmansk to formally sign out with the FSB prior to leaving Russian Federation waters. The decision still has to be made on where Barrabas will be put back into the water before checking in at Murmansk. The blue dots indicate the intended course towards Murmansk.